The goal of the project is to collect and donate money to the Ukrainian UNICEF Foundation which is helping children and their mothers to survive the war that Russia started in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
The refugee crisis in Ukraine is so massive that it’s hard to fully grasp. More than 9 million Ukrainians have already been forced to flee to other countries, and half of them are children. Many more have been displaced within the country with a lack of the necessities of life — all of them are in desperate need of medical and humanitarian help.
100% of the proceeds from the sale of these decks will be donated to
UNICEF’s Ukraine Emergency Fund, which will help supply safe water, sanitation, medical aid, and healthcare services to the region.
All the decks were manufactured by
Generator Distribution in California and generously donated to the project.
Andriy Boyar is a skateboarder, visual artist, and editor-in-chief of ZIRKA. His graphic features 10 places of cultural significance to Ukraine that were destroyed by the Russian army, across the 10 cities most affected by the war during the first months of the full-scale Russian invasion.
Below, in his own words, are the meaning behind each illustration on the graphic:
On March 16, 2022, the Drama Theatre in Mariupol was bombed. It was reportedly used as an air-raid shelter during the siege of Mariupol, holding 1,300 civilians in the days before March 16. Satellite images of the theatre taken on March 14, 2022, show the giant word: ДЕТИ (“children” in Russian) written in two locations outside the theatre on the square in an attempt to identify it to invading forces as a civilian air-raid shelter containing children and not a military target. On March 25, the Mariupol City Council reported that around 300 people were killed in the Mariupol theatre by that airstrike
A small town 10 kilometers from Kyiv, became, as well as Hostomel and Bucha, a living shield of the capital from the Russian occupiers. On March 28, the Ukrainian military forces liberated the city from Russian troops. The occupiers left behind damaged houses, burned cars, mountains of corpses of civilians, and have mined many objects. On the deck, you can see the entrance to one of the local parks. Before the war, the city of Irpin in the region was called "the city of parks". Most of the parks have now been destroyed and mined. Demining and clearing work is underway. I have lived in Irpin for the last 10 years. In the first days of the war, my family and I had to leave our home. On March 3, a shell hit a neighboring building. My yard and all the surrounding houses were completely destroyed.
On March 29, a cruise missile hit a local government building hours before Russia and Ukraine were due to begin talks. While the Ukrainian port city was retrieving the dead and wounded, on the other side of the Black Sea, in Istanbul, the possible peace agreement was being discussed.
On the night of March 23, the Russian occupiers dropped air bombs on a road bridge across the Desna River, which connected the city of Chernihiv with Kyiv. The bridge also served for evacuations of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian aid to the city of Chernihiv. It was the only road between Kyiv and Chernihiv.
On March 24, the Russian occupiers launched a war with an airstrike on the airfield in the city of Hostomel. In the first days of the war, the Russian occupiers destroyed the flagship of Ukrainian aviation – the legendary An-225 "Mriya", which means "dream". Mriya is an aviation giant and it was created in Ukraine. With a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes, the An-225 held several records, including the heaviest aircraft ever built and the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service. Russia has destroyed our Mriya, but the dream of a Ukraine free from occupiers cannot be destroyed!
In the city of Bucha there were mass killings of Ukrainian civilians committed by the Russian Armed Forces in March 2022. Destroying everything in their path, on March 27, the Russian occupiers even shot a monument to Afghan soldiers. They may have confused it with Ukrainian military equipment, but most likely, they just wanted to destroy everything around.
The city of Okhtyrka in the Sumy region became one of the first points where the Russian army sent its forces at the beginning of the war. The occupiers tried several times to take Okhtyrka, but encountered resistance from the military and locals. Today, most of the city's critical infrastructure has been destroyed. On March 3, after another attack on the city, a thermal power plant that provided heat to the region was destroyed.
Today, the city has been almost razed to the ground, its infrastructure has been completely destroyed, and many residents have been evacuated. The city is under occupation. Every Volnovakha citizen knew the building of the central hospital. It was an ordinary city hospital that gave life and health to civilians— now the building is destroyed.
As of March 31, the Russian army destroyed more than 1,531 houses in Kharkiv, including 1,292 residential buildings, 70 schools, 54 kindergartens, 16 hospitals, and 239 office buildings. The Saltivka neighborhood in Kharkiv is considered to be one of the largest neighborhoods in Europe.