Taras Shevchenko (1814 – 1861) is the greatest Ukrainian poet, writer and artist. He is the founder of the modern Ukrainian literature and literary language, who contributed a lot to the Ukrainian cultural revival and is regarded as a father of the contemporary Ukrainian nation. Just to illustrate his significance for Ukrainians: from all cultural figures of the world Taras Shevchenko has the largest number of erected monuments. In general, there are 1,384 monuments (1,256 in Ukraine and 128 in 35 other countries).
Oleksandr Grekhov became widely popular in Ukraine after the exhibition «Shevchenkoʼs Quantum Leap» where a series of portraits of Taras Shevchenko presented him as different cult figures of culture and science, as well as characters from popular movies and cartoons. So, when the full-scaled war started it was only natural that Grekhov’s Taras Shevchenko emerged dressed like a modern Ukrainian soldier. And we might say that he is really fighting together with all the Ukraine against the Russian enemy. For example, every Ukrainian remembers the video from the first moments of the liberated city of Balaklia, where Ukrainian servicemen tear off a Russian propaganda advertisement from a billboard, and underneath found a former poster with the famous Taras Shevchenko’s words from his poem «Caucasus». When a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine recited these lines on the video, they sounded with special power for every Ukrainian man and woman:
«And glory, mountains blue, to you, In ageless ice encased! And glory, freedom’s knights, to you, Whom God will not forsake. Keep fighting — you are sure to win! God helps you in your fight! For fame and freedom march with you, And right is on your side!»