For the first time I was in Borovsk a few years ago. I remember how my attention was attracted by the picturesque and large turals on the walls of houses dedicated to the repressions, poets of past years, great figures. This is not often seen in the provincial cities of our country. Their author is a mural painter Vladimir Ovchinnikov. For more than twenty years, he has been painting the walls of houses in Borovsk. I was lucky enough to get to know him in the summer of 2022, after the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. By this time, the local administration of the city had already begun to put pressure on Vladimir Alexandrovich for his anti-war position, and some of the works began to be painted over.
After February 24, the main topic in the works of Vladimir Alexandrovich was the topic of the Russian invasion to Ukraine. So, a mural depicting a portrait of Yevgeny Yevtushenko and his quotation: “Do the Russians want a war?” on the wall of the house of the central street of Borovsk remains still untouched by the administration. One of Ovchinnikov’s first anti-war illustrations with two helmets pierced from bullets remained uo for only a few days, after which it was painted over. Next came Ukrainian flags, inscriptions “No war, ” “Glory to Ukraine, ” “Enough Z.” The sensational work, where the artist depicted a girl with bombs and an appeal to stop, was painted over almost immediately, and the very next day after her appearance, Ovchinnikov was visited by a police officer. A case was opened on “discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation” and a fine of 35,000 rubles was imposed. This did not prevent the artist from continuing to defend his position to this day.