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‘Glory to Ukraine’: French artist C215 dedicates mural to executed Ukrainian POW

By Heather Chen and Mariya Knight, CNN

A mural depicting a fallen Ukrainian soldier executed by Russian forces in 2022 has appeared in the heart of Kyiv on the side of a government building.

The sighting was celebrated in a Facebook post by the Ukrainian parliament on Saturday.

Created by Paris-based French street artist Christian Guemy, better known as C215, the mural depicts the late Oleksandr Matsiyevsky — a sniper with the 163rd Battalion of the 119th Separate Tank Brigade of the Chernihiv Region.

Matsiyevsky was shot dead by Russian forces on December 30 after being reported missing near the village of Krasna Hora in the Donetsk region.

His execution at the hands of Russian troops was caught on video and circulated widely. In the video, he was seen pulling a cigarette and saying: “Slava Ukraini (Glory to Ukraine)” — before fighters off camera fired several shots at him.

His body was returned home in February, sparking outrage in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed in March to “find his murderers” and addressed Matsiyevsky’s death.

“I want us all to respond to his words in unity,” he said in his nightly address. “Glory to the hero. Glory to heroes. Glory to Ukraine.”

Zelensky posthumously awarded Matsiyevsky Ukraine’s highest honor, the “Hero of Ukraine” medal later that month.

Vyacheslav Shtuchnyi, the Head of the Apparatus of Ukraine’s Parliament, said that the mural paid tribute to the memory of “all heroes who defend Ukraine every day and give the most valuable thing for its independence and territorial integrity — their lives.”

“In January 2023, a delegation from the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine visited a photo exhibition by Christian Guemy, presented in the building of the National Assembly of the French Republic. There, a common idea arose to create a mural in Kyiv,” the Parliament said.

But this was not Guemy’s first work in Ukraine, authorities said.

They noted that he had previously done street art in other places like Lviv and Zhytomyr as well as the liberated places in the Kyiv region such as Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin.

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