When the Ukraine Was Soviet
In 1990, following the Orange Revolution, the Ukraine announced its independence from Soviet dominance. The Ukraine has among the strongest industrial economies of the former Soviet sphere, so it was a great loss for the Russians. Since independence, the Eastern (with its ethnic Russian majority) and Western portions (with its European leanings) have been at odds over whether to become more integrated into the European Union.
Last Fall, President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign an association agreement with the EU triggering protests in Kiev by the opposition. Since then, violence has steadily escalated to deadly levels between government forces and “Euromaidan” supporters. Martial law is feared.
I recently found a catalog of Ukrainian political posters spanning the period after the Russian revolution until the early 1980s – some are surprisingly well known. In light of the apparent push from Russian President Putin to aid the Yanukovych government, seeing this now quaint the Ukrainian SSR-Soviet era posters seems like a deceivingly innocent moment in history.
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About Steven Heller
Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →