Lifestyle & CultureMosaic Art

Intricate and bold mosaic mural artwork as a propaganda tool in Ukraine’s past

(4 min read) Art has always been at the forefront of the social and political situation of every country, and mosaic art is not an exception. Just like every other widely admired art form, mosaic art was often used as means of propaganda and advertising. However, unlike with many other art forms, the messages sent with mosaic art tended to stick around much longer, if not for an eternity.

Ukraine Mosaic Mural, Mosaic Mural Artwork, Mosaic Mural Design
Blacksmiths of the Present mosaic artwork on one of the walls at the Institute of Nuclear Research of the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine, created in 1974 by artists Grygoryi Pryshedko and Galina Zubchenko; the blacksmith’s forging hammer was one of the symbols on the communist party flag.

Ukraine Mosaic Mural, Mosaic Mural Artwork, Mosaic Mural Design
Mosaic artworks were created between 1968 and 1980 decorating facades at Paramohnmy Avenue in Kyiv.


Once upon a time, my favorite non-mosaic artist said: “Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used by so many to say so little.” Those versed in artistic activism will recognize this Banksy’s quote. And just like everything Banksy does, this quote has many points of interpretation too. Is it always good to use art to speak and when does that use become abuse?

Ukraine Mosaic Mural, Mosaic Mural Artwork, Mosaic Mural Design
Space Conquerors mosaic art in Lysychansk, Ukraine, created with colored smalto by artist Vartan Arakelov in 1968; Soviet-era was also the era of the space race and this vibrant mosaic is just one of the ways art commemorated Yuri Gagarin’s journey into outer space in 1961.

Ukraine Mosaic Mural, Mosaic Mural Artwork, Mosaic Mural Design
Another testament to the communist-era space race, this bright mosaic artwork from 1980 adorns the front wall of an administrative building of Ukraine’s Nuclear Power plant in Yuzhnoukrainsk. Source: Wired.


Just in case you are living in outer space or some parallel fairy realm, this article is “inspired” by the current events in Ukraine. As someone who has family roots in Eastern Europe, I could also say that this article may be colored with my personal standpoints here and there, but if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already expected that from yours truly.

Ukraine Mosaic Mural, Mosaic Mural Artwork, Mosaic Mural Design
Mosaic artwork created in 1967 by artists Iakiv Skrypkov and Denys Merpert, for Friendship Square in Gurzuf, Ukraine … because communism was all about friendship #sarcasm. Source: Wired.

No one knows how many of the Ukrainian mosaic artworks will survive this war, so this is a unique chance to capture some of them and their history. Many of our fellow bloggers took a different approach and talked widely about the history and the background of Ukrainian mosaic art going all the way back to ancient times. In order to make this article closer to you, I’ve decided to take a short stroll back into the near past.

Ukraine Mosaic Mural, Mosaic Mural Artwork, Mosaic Mural Design
The famous “Lenin and Science” mosaic was created during the 1960s by mosaicist Serhii Svitlorusov for the Ukrainian Institute for low-temperature Physics and Engineering.

Ukraine Mosaic Mural, Mosaic Mural Artwork, Mosaic Mural Design
Mosaic artwork by Ernest Kotkov, Ivan Lytovchenko, and Valeryi Lamakh on a wall at the River Station in Kyiv; the hostility of the Communist party towards religion was widely documented and this mosaic is just another testament to that.


Ukraine Mosaic Mural, Mosaic Mural Artwork, Mosaic Mural Design
Vibrant mosaic, yet symbolic, mosaic artwork on a bus stop in Machukhu, Ukraine, created by an unknown artist; communists optimistically depicted China’s leader Mao Zedong as the sun and Chinese people as the sunflowers.


Mosaic art has always played a significant and meaningful role in Ukrainian culture and as such, it was also used by the Communist Party during the dark times of Soviet communism. In 2014 many mosaic artworks were subject to the decommunization process as a result of the Revolution of Dignity. Numerous mosaic artworks of the Soviet era were dismantled and destroyed. However, the artistic community of Ukraine became divided at the time, because while some thought that the era of communism should be wiped out completely, others thought that preserving monumental art in terms of its undeniable artistic value was a marker of civilized society.

Ukraine Mosaic Mural, Mosaic Mural Artwork, Mosaic Mural Design
Ukrainian Madonna mosaic panel from 1960 on the left was created by mosaicist Vasyl Ovchynnikov; Labor Symphony on the right was created on the façade of a house in Kyiv by the artists Ernest Kotkov and Valeryi Lamakh.

Ukraine Mosaic Mural, Mosaic Mural Artwork, Mosaic Mural Design
“Steelmakers” mosaic was created in 1975 by Lel Kuzminkov and Valentyn Konstantinov for a train station in Mariupol, Ukraine.


Ironically, the issue of these colorful mosaic artworks remains unsolved to this day and war has never been kind to art or monuments of past times. Used for national manipulation and communist propaganda, these remarkable pieces of artistry and skill hide encrypted stories of collective spirit and deceit, of trust and trickery. Huge, bold, and bright, they proudly told the story of a significant part of Ukrainian history during the cold war era.

Ukraine Mosaic Mural, Mosaic Mural Artwork, Mosaic Mural Design
“A Method for Building Life” by unknown artist.


The beauty of some of the Ukrainian mosaics is undoubtedly lost forever. However, some of Ukraine’s modern-day mosaicists will resurface after all this is over with mosaic masterpieces that will mark the time of recovery. We will talk more about them in one of our future articles. Stay tuned and #supportukrainenow

Ukraine Mosaic Mural, Mosaic Mural Artwork, Mosaic Mural Design
Intricate and bold mosaic artwork as a propaganda tool in Ukraine’s past.

Ukraine Mosaic Mural, Mosaic Mural Artwork, Mosaic Mural Design
Intricate and bold mosaic artwork as a propaganda tool in Ukraine’s past.


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M. Belosh

M. Belosh

Passionate art enthusiast; avid reader (you can find me on Goodreads under the same name); movie connoisseur; intolerable before my morning coffee.

53 Comments

  1. Victoria Prasad
    April 1, 2022 at 11:20 pm — Reply

    Wow, I really appreciate you sharing this with the world. It is sad to see just how much is being lost over there: life, architecture, art….peace.

  2. Melanie Edjourian
    April 2, 2022 at 6:10 am — Reply

    It’s amazing how many pieces of mosaic art they have in public places. There are some stunning pieces.

  3. Jupiter Hadley
    April 2, 2022 at 2:21 pm — Reply

    It really is a shame that art like this is destroyed in the times of war, but thank you so much for sharing some of these works of art and what their meaning is!

  4. Heather
    April 2, 2022 at 2:43 pm — Reply

    I’m so glad you were able to document all of the murals in Ukraine. I hope that they all survive!

  5. Tammy
    April 2, 2022 at 5:32 pm — Reply

    I think it was so beautiful for you to highlight Ukrainian artists. Beautiful tribute to the country and the culture. These pieces are beautiful!

  6. Angela Ricardo Bethea
    April 4, 2022 at 3:55 am — Reply

    I am totally speechless by how beautiful those mosaic mural artworks are and some are even in 3d.

  7. Clarice
    April 4, 2022 at 3:59 am — Reply

    Wow! This is wonderfully made. So far the Ukrainian Madonna mosaic panel is my favorite. I did not realize they have a lot of these masterpieces in the country. 🙂

  8. Sonia
    April 4, 2022 at 8:21 am — Reply

    The art works are beautiful,praying for the Ukrainian because war is not good for any country,talking from experience!

  9. Risa Lopez
    April 4, 2022 at 12:34 pm — Reply

    That’s amazing. I learned a lot about these murals. All was artistic and beautiful. Reading Ukraine’s history is awesome.

  10. Yonca
    April 4, 2022 at 6:05 pm — Reply

    What an informative post about Ukrainian culture. Beautiful art works!

  11. Michael
    April 4, 2022 at 9:12 pm — Reply

    I bet its really impactful seeing the big ones in person esp now. WOW!

  12. Rosey
    April 4, 2022 at 9:32 pm — Reply

    I have taught on Banksy a couple of times in my classroom this year. He is certainly an interesting artist.

  13. Cristina Petrini
    April 5, 2022 at 3:59 am — Reply

    There was a contemporary period in which mosaics really made history. Just think of the city where I live, Milan. Many buildings or places of the liberty period are in fact characterized with splendid mosaics that recall those of the classical period that could be found in Roman or Pompeian houses. Amazing!
    I did not know this part relating to Ukraine and its past, too bad they are propaganda, they are really colorful and beautiful!

  14. Yonca
    April 5, 2022 at 4:53 am — Reply

    Informative post! It’s good to learn about the Ukrainian mosaics and culture.

  15. Samantha Donnelly
    April 5, 2022 at 5:40 am — Reply

    These are amazing and really are something to make you stop and look, the intricate work that goes into mosaics really does amaze me

  16. Lavanda Michelle
    April 5, 2022 at 5:59 am — Reply

    I love to look at a find large Murals. Large Mosaic Murals have to be a lot of work but very beautiful.

  17. Luna S
    April 5, 2022 at 10:53 am — Reply

    Those pieces are huge, I can’t imagine how long they took to create. They are beautiful!

  18. Riv. E.
    April 5, 2022 at 11:13 am — Reply

    These bold mosaics are so eye catching. The history behind them is soi nteresting too!

  19. A. Sam
    April 5, 2022 at 11:26 am — Reply

    I have heard of these mosiac murals before, but not in detail! I learned a lot!

  20. Melanie Edjourian
    April 5, 2022 at 11:54 am — Reply

    The bright mosaic artwork from 1980 looks amazing. I love the way that one stands out and the colouring.

  21. Paula Richie
    April 5, 2022 at 12:21 pm — Reply

    I do hope that these beautiful works of art will survive this war, so that the history and the background is preserved.

  22. Maria
    April 5, 2022 at 1:45 pm — Reply

    Wow! These are really nice and fascinating. Such a creative way to share the message.

  23. Risa Lopez
    April 5, 2022 at 2:08 pm — Reply

    Everything is beautiful and hearing the story of the pictures is amazing.

  24. Angela Williams
    April 5, 2022 at 2:15 pm — Reply

    This is a great art venue to express creativity

  25. Melissa Cushing
    April 5, 2022 at 5:27 pm — Reply

    Wow I am really impressed with these works of art and appreciate you sharing. I esepcvikally love the mosaic works of art on the sides of the buildings in Kyiv. The Ukrainians are amazing people indeed and I have a new found respect and appreciation for their bravery.

  26. Joyce K.
    April 5, 2022 at 5:46 pm — Reply

    Sometimes seeing people misuse the beauty of art is really heartbreaking to see.

  27. Jane
    April 5, 2022 at 5:55 pm — Reply

    It was so beautiful to read your post and see these magnificent mosaic artwork yet so heartbreaking due to the war that is happening there. Thank you for sharing these beautiful images

  28. Celine
    April 5, 2022 at 6:10 pm — Reply

    Such a beautiful post! Yep, mosaics has been one of the tools to decorate the public places, buildings, festivals.

  29. Christine H
    April 5, 2022 at 10:22 pm — Reply

    I never thought about how art is used in political situations. But it is plain as day after thinking about it. It is really sad that many pieces of artwork were dismantled and destroyed in the decommunization process. Thanks for sharing so much history related to the Ukraine and mosaic art.

  30. Lily Lily
    April 6, 2022 at 12:54 am — Reply

    Mosaics always wows me! The details on all of these are just stellar!

  31. Melanie Edjourian
    April 6, 2022 at 6:09 am — Reply

    It’s interesting to hear how mosiacs can be used for different things. So many different images have been created.

  32. Rhian Westbury
    April 6, 2022 at 7:18 am — Reply

    Wow those mosaic murals on the end of buildings in Kyiv are beautiful. Hopefully some of these murals will survive the war for future generations to enjoy x

  33. Melanie williams
    April 6, 2022 at 8:21 am — Reply

    Oh wow how beautiful are all these mosaics. The attention to detail and the stunning colours and patterns are next level x

  34. Jim
    April 6, 2022 at 9:03 am — Reply

    Wow. That’s actually amazing. The art on the walls had me stunned. I liked “A Method for Building Life” a lot!

  35. Tammy
    April 6, 2022 at 12:05 pm — Reply

    The artwork is stunning and when you look back in history so many great pieces tell stories of the world around them when they were being created. So rich in culture and history ..this is why it’s so important to preserve art and historical pieces.

  36. Risa Lopez
    April 6, 2022 at 12:28 pm — Reply

    Each picture has a story to tell. So sad it was being damaged by the war. All the photos are lovely and I really love the story behind each one of them.

  37. Eileen M Loya
    April 7, 2022 at 1:05 am — Reply

    These mosaic art murals are so amazing to marvel at. Sadly, I don’t think they exist today. I am glad that you were able to share photos of them while they were still intact.

  38. Rhian Westbury
    April 7, 2022 at 10:32 am — Reply

    Some absolutely beautiful murals, lets hope they (and the city) survives in this horrible time. I’d have never thouht about mosaic murals being political, but it’s just the same as any other art x

  39. Angela Williams
    April 7, 2022 at 2:15 pm — Reply

    These mosaic murals are amazing. I’m sure the work and patience it takes is incredible.

  40. Nat
    April 7, 2022 at 3:12 pm — Reply

    Such an interesting read! Thanks for sharing these mosaic mural artworks of Ukrain in details.

  41. Kat
    April 7, 2022 at 9:02 pm — Reply

    the mosaics represents really strong messages. i hope this war will end soon. so many people are being affected worldwide.

  42. Indu
    April 8, 2022 at 1:58 am — Reply

    All mosaic artworks portrayed in your blog are amazing creations.

  43. Rosey
    April 8, 2022 at 6:39 am — Reply

    Yes, art is a great way to express yourself politically, socially or just for entertainment value. It’s amazing what you find when you research meaning behind certain pieces of art.

  44. Sue Reddel
    April 8, 2022 at 9:00 am — Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing the history and stories behind these beautiful works of art.

  45. Risa Lopez
    April 8, 2022 at 12:23 pm — Reply

    I want to know more about their country and the stories behind each art.

  46. Luna S
    April 8, 2022 at 1:35 pm — Reply

    Gorgeous, I love seeing artwork like this. My favorite of what is shown here is that gorgeous one on the side of the building that looks like a sun.

  47. Val
    April 8, 2022 at 1:57 pm — Reply

    These are beautiful which makes me really sad thinking this has already been destroyed today because of the war. Thank you for sharing this.

  48. Renata Feyen
    April 8, 2022 at 5:48 pm — Reply

    I didn’t know there were so many mosaic arts in Ukraine – let’s hope they and the people of Ukraine survive this stupid war

  49. Lyosha
    April 8, 2022 at 8:27 pm — Reply

    very bold and unique. Great art style, it makes me of modern art a lot. It’s great you found a way to reflect on Ukraine and support it via this post within your niche. I hope Ukraine wins and fast!

  50. Melissa Cushing
    April 9, 2022 at 5:23 pm — Reply

    Thank you for this educational and interesting post packed with things I for sure did not know about Ukraine and its history. Very sad what is going on over there….

  51. Risa Lopez
    April 18, 2022 at 11:47 am — Reply

    Thank you for sharing such wonderful and educational artworks and sharing all the history behind them.

  52. Talya Stone
    April 22, 2022 at 9:55 am — Reply

    What an interesting take on the use of mosaics in public spaces. I’ve never thoughts about mosaics being a vehicle for the expression of political views and struggles…

  53. Tina Gleisner
    May 16, 2022 at 12:53 pm — Reply

    Love the mosaics on the sides of buildings, absolutely amazing & beautiful.

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