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Ukraine news: ‘Shoot Yourself’ sculpture taken down

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A provocative anti-war sculpture featuring a revolver and a remarkable likeness of Vladimir Putin has been removed from a public square in the centre of Kyiv.

Provocative may be understating the power of Dmytro Iv’s work, when you consider the barrel of the revolver is planted firmly in the statue’s mouth.

It’s called “Shoot Yourself” and was erected without permission in a very prominent location—where a Soviet-era statue of Lenin once stood.

“Originally I had an idea to create something that would motivate our soldiers to keep on killing Russians,” said Iv, who imitates putting a gun to his mouth and pulling the trigger.

His sculptures have been shown internationally, and usually he works in soft material, but he said this time chose rusted steel for its effect.

“The war is tough,” he told me. “Steel is tough. There should be no beauty in this.”

Eight hours after “Shoot Yourself” was lifted into place, like a Banksy guerilla manoeuvre, it was removed. But not before photos and video whirled across the globe on social media.

Iv said he doesn’t want to talk about why it was taken away, beyond suggesting it was considered a provocation as Russia and Ukraine were preparing to mark the Second World War’s Victory Day, though in very different ways.

He seems more amused than indignant.

The sculpture is now being stored in a Kyiv warehouse. Iv said this situation is only temporary and that “Shoot Yourself” will soon appear at a new venue, maybe in another city.

The eyes are very Putin-esque, highlighted with little strips of barbed wire. The revolver is realistically menacing with a steel hand on the trigger. Iv said it took a month to create.

“The sculpture speaks for itself,” he says. “Putin is a war criminal and war criminals can do two things. They can either be put in prison, or shoot themselves.”

A provocative anti-war sculpture featuring a revolver and a remarkable likeness of Vladimir Putin has been removed from a public square in the centre of Kyiv. (Courtesy CTV’S Paul Workman)

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