Support The Moscow Times!

Lawmaker Hits Back at Charlie Hebdo With 'Hellfire' Cartoon, Is Accused of Plagiarism

Petrenko's stunt soon drew criticism from the Ukrainian cartoonist Yury Zhuravlyev, who pointed out an uncanny similarity between the drawing and his earlier work criticizing the former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his entourage.

Outraged by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo's depiction of the recent Sinai plane crash, Russian Senator Valentina Petrenko decided to respond in kind.

During a press conference on Wednesday called “#IAmNotCharlie: Russian Parliamentarians Respond to Charlie Hebdo,” she presented a cartoon showing a group of people in a cauldron boiling over an open fire, while a military figure with a trident looks on.

The drawing was accompanied by two captions: one above the image saying “Charlie Hebdo are not people — they're monsters!” and one at the bottom adding: “Hell welcomes Charlie Hebdo.”

The original Charlie Hebdo cartoons were published on Nov. 4, sparking outrage among many Russian officials due to their explicit content and 'blasphemous' nature.

Petrenko's stunt soon drew criticism from the Ukrainian cartoonist Yury Zhuravlyev, who pointed out an uncanny similarity between the drawing and his earlier work criticizing the former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his entourage.

Zhuravlev told Dozhd TV that he expected the lawmaker to issue a public apology.

Petrenko's aide said that the cartoon “could be used, given that it was freely available on the Internet,” the Meduza online newspaper reported Wednesday.

“Given that it is freely available, it can be used along with comments, shared with other Internet users. Printing it out and passing it as your own work — in my opinion, that is plagiarism,” Zhuravlyev responded in an interview with Dozhd.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.