Propaganda showing one side as defenders of justice and the other as invading evil hordes has been happening for centuries, and now its most recent, most literal interpretation yet is happening in Ukraine, using a concept piece of Diablo 3 art to showcase the country’s struggle against Russian aggression and expansionism.
Three years ago in 2014, Ukraine was rocked by a revolution that overthrew the then-current administration and created a new one in its place. Russia, Ukraine’s next-door neighbor, took advantage of the ensuing administrative chaos to annex the Crimean Peninsula, holding a referendum that many believe was artificially inflated or corrupted by intimidation tactics.
Since then, Ukraine has been fighting a war against two self-proclaimed separatist republics in the Donbass and Donetsk regions of the country. Both rebel movements are allegedly being supported by Russia, and the country is extremely on edge for fear of a full-on invasion.
The Diablo 3 art that Ukraine has made use of as propaganda depicts Tyrael, one of the main characters and the Archangel of Justice, descending among a horde of demons in a pillar of light. However, in a rather noticeable alteration, he’s carrying a shield carrying the coat of arms of Ukraine, and his wings are no longer white, but blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
The art was originally drawn by Toby Lewin, who sent in the picture as part of a Blizzard Diablo 3 fan art contest in 2011. The picture has since found its way to a number of different areas including mouse pads, posters, and more, but Lewin has said that this is the first time he’s heard of it being used as a war memorial.
While it’s a fairly minor thing, hopefully using Diablo 3 art as a war memorial image isn’t something that starts to be repeated in the future; with the Internet so vast and with many images being stolen and used without their creators’ permission, there’s no telling if it’ll happen again.