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Welcome To Sochi, Comrade!

As Russia prepares for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russian artist Vasily Slonov has put a satirical spin on the country's PR campaign for the games. In a series of posters, Slonov combines winter sports scenes with images portraying a frightening, repressive Russia. Displayed during the White Nights cultural festival in the city of Perm, the posters provoked a swift backlash: Authorities closed the exhibit and sacked the curator of the Perm Museum of Contemporary Art, well-known gallerist Marat Gelman, for backing the exhibit. The reason for the crackdown was said to be Slonov's unauthorized use of the Sochi 2014 symbols. (7 PHOTOS)

A computer screen shows images of Vasily Slonov's satirical posters, one of which depicts a fanged Josef Stalin disguised as a friendly bear.
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A computer screen shows images of Vasily Slonov's satirical posters, one of which depicts a fanged Josef Stalin disguised as a friendly bear.

Other posters show terrifying interpretations of Russian cultural icons: a matryoshka doll and the Soviet-era animated character Cheburashka.
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Other posters show terrifying interpretations of Russian cultural icons: a matryoshka doll and the Soviet-era animated character Cheburashka.

Vasily Slonov laughs over reproductions of his oil paintings from the series "Welcome! Sochi 2014."
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Vasily Slonov laughs over reproductions of his oil paintings from the series "Welcome! Sochi 2014."

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Signs point visitors to the GULAG, the Chornobyl nuclear plant, Siberia, and Lubyanka, the seat of the Federal Security Service (FSB).
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Signs point visitors to the GULAG, the Chornobyl nuclear plant, Siberia, and Lubyanka, the seat of the Federal Security Service (FSB).

An aircraft-shaped matryoshka doll flies over Slonov's imagined Russia.
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An aircraft-shaped matryoshka doll flies over Slonov's imagined Russia.

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