His visit to Russia "aims to spread a message of peace".

The famous Neapolitan street artist Jorit - born Ciro Cerullo - defends himself after the controversy over his participation in a forum with Vladimir Putin in Sochi , complete with a smiling photo and an exchange of jokes on how "human" the Russian president is.

«The recent visit to Russia – wrote Jorit in a post on Instagram – is consistent with the path of artistic militancy that I have been pursuing for years and, like the previous ones, aims to spread a message of peace . Far be it from me to praise Putin, but how can we not break the propaganda bubble that wants us to be in conflict and always on multiple fronts?". «The photos of Meloni's kiss with Biden or Netanyahu – he continues – should cause at least more discussion than mine with Putin . And instead the war propaganda made us believe that on one side there are the good guys (West) and on the other the bad guys (Russia, in the future also China?)". So the conclusion: «European politicians must immediately resume diplomatic contacts and open a dialogue with Russia. The war must be stopped, bridges must be built between peoples, it must be done now!

The forum in Sochi

It is already the second time that Vladimir Putin has tried to send a signal of détente to Italy. If on 20 February he had done so through the student Irene Cecchini, this time the chosen intermediary was Jorit, to whom he spoke of the common "aspiration for freedom" of the Russians and the "great Italian people", quoting Garibaldi. "President Putin, I ask you to take a photo together to demonstrate to Italy that you are human like everyone else and the propaganda about you is not true," Jorit said at the end of a question and answer session at the International Youth Forum in Sochi. "Of course - the head of the Kremlin replied - as long as you don't pinch me to make sure that I'm a real person."

The reactions, Tajani: «Propaganda»

Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani sends the message back to the sender, speaking of KGB-style "propaganda" , while a wave of protests and controversies arise among the political forces. "Propaganda was the art of the KGB, disinformation was the art of the USSR and evidently there is still someone in Russia who uses this art to try to put others in difficulty," said the head of the Farnesina. Italy, the minister clarified, is on Ukraine's side but "this does not mean that we are at war with the Russian people". Carlo Calenda, leader of Action, instead spoke of «useful idiots, paid or simply looking for notoriety», but also took the opportunity to attack «a vice president of the Council (i.e. Matteo Salvini) formally allied with Putin's party ».

The murals

Jorit, who became famous with his graffiti on the buildings of Naples, has long taken polemical positions towards what he defines as "propaganda" in favor of Kiev. Among his murals there is one created in 2023 in Mariupol, a Ukrainian city conquered by Russian troops the year before after a ferocious battle. The work depicts a little girl from the pro-Russian separatist republic of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, behind whom missiles with the words 'Nato' are raining down. «The idea - explained the artist - was to show the problems of the children of Donbass to the whole world. The media talk about the suffering of children in one country, but remain silent about what is happening in the neighboring one." In this case, the bombings by Ukrainian forces which have also affected civilians in pro-Russian areas since 2014.


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