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Vladimir Ovchinnikov

‘Painted over’: Russian village artist finds peace art unwelcome

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Retired engineer Vladimir Ovchinnikov has spent decades painting murals in his small town south of Moscow but finds some of his art is not welcome after Russia’s conflict with Ukraine.

“They’ve painted over it,” Ovchinnikov, 84, said during a recent stop at an abandoned shop in a village field near Borovsk, his town of about 10,000 people two hours’ drive from the Russian capital.

Ovchinnikov had painted a blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag on one side of the building, but it had been covered over in white paint.

Moving briskly, he pulled out a black pencil and began to draw a dove over the whitewash, until another local man approached and threatened to call the police.

Pic: Russian artist Vladimir Ovchinnikov painted a blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag on one side of a building, but it was covered over in white paint - Copyright AFP Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

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