Throughout its history, the Palace of Culture in Murmansk has exhibited many of the most beautiful and eloquent expressions of Russian culture. Plays by world-famous writers, music by their composers, dance and ballet, children’s songs, opera and poetry.
But for many, the Kulturpalast will never be the same again.
A large orange and black banner in the shape of a “Z” now hangs over its majestic entrance.
It was affixed to the facade of the building on April 4th and the leaders of the institution proud of their contribution to the ruthless and bloody war against an innocent neighbor.
With the banner affixed to the wall of the Palace of Culture, Russian soldiers, many from the Kola Peninsula, committed massive war crimes, murders and premeditated attempts to wipe out a nation.
The letter Z is added to the post in the slogans “Za Presidenta” (for the President), “Za Mir” (for Peace) and “Zapolyarie” (the North).
And the Palace of Culture is far from the only cultural institution in the Murmansk region that engaged in war propaganda. Propaganda videos and photos are copied and reposted on the websites and social media of several institutions.
There are similar cases nationwide. In Karelia, the region bordering Finland, the Petrozavodsk Philharmonia put up a similar banner with the “Z”. However, in that city, someone soon stained the symbol of war with red paint resembling blood.
The Region Palace of Culture is owned by the Murmansk Region and is funded by the Regional Ministry of Culture. Since the beginning of the invasion, the government agency has repeatedly expressed its support for the war. On its social media, the ministry has repeatedly posted the “Z” and linked various patriotic information and wartime propaganda. Among the latter is a contribution by Nikolai Ivanov, chairman of the Russian Writers’ Union. According to Ivanov, who comes from a military background himself, the Z “taught the whole world a lesson.”
“Z – this is the main blow against ruthlessness and the desire of our ‘dear partners’ to rule over our minds and territories, research and production, laws and psychology, our youth and our future,” he writes.
According to Ivanov, the Z “henceforward and forever changed the psychology of war, when the soldiers conducting the special operation sacrifice themselves to save the lives of others.”
The Z symbolizes a unity of Wehrmacht, people and power that was unthinkable yesterday, says the chairman of the writers’ association.
Meanwhile, to others, the Z symbolizes nothing but Russia’s bloody and cruel war and bears resemblance to the Nazi swastika.