Photo report by Mariia Universaliuk from the International Conference of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the deportation of Chechens and Ingush by the Soviet regime, the 30th anniversary of the start of Russia's war against the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, and the 10th anniversary of Moscow's war against Ukraine, held in Kyiv on February 28, 2024.

A masterpiece of contemporary art in the form of a sculpture of the State Emblem of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, made from fragments of mines, artillery shells, and exploded military ammunition collected from the battlefields against the Russian dragon of war in Ukraine, was created by the legendary American photographer and artist Sergey Melnikoff, also known as MFF.

Deeply integrated into the fate of the Chechen people, Sergey is the only well-known representative of the Western world who, thirty years ago, dared to publicly support the Chechens fighting against Russian invaders. The artist proudly stood under a hail of abuse and criticism poured on him by all Russian-language media in every country his profession led him to.

The unique sculpture of the State Emblem of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was crafted from military ammunition on the frontline in Odessa, Ukraine, by Sergey Melnikoff (a.k.a. MFF) and metalworker Viktor Belchik.

“The war will end when the Russians end.”

— Sergey Melnikoff

The difficult path of speaking the truth made Sergey Melnikoff a National Hero of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. In 2012, the American was awarded Ichkeria’s highest state honor, the Qoman Turpal Order — Hero of the Nation. Sergey also raised the flag of Free Ichkeria at the highest point on Earth — the summit of Everest.

However, long before this event, news agencies from various countries had already bestowed upon the master photographer the stern, laconic title of “Enemy of Russia.” An enemy of Russia and Russians, not just its idiotic criminal bosses. Speaking at a congress of Ukrainian nationalists in 2015, Sergey Melnikoff remarked that the Russian herd consists of one hundred and forty million little Putins.

In 2023, the artist patented a technology he developed for creating sculptures from cast iron fragments of mines and artillery shells. This material is collected for him from the Ukrainian fields where fierce battles with the Rashists took place. A notable figure in this technology is the Ukrainian virtuoso welder Viktor Belchik. In his small workshop on the outskirts of front-line Odessa, Sergey and Viktor create unique sculptures from the metal of war.

You are a genius, turning fragments that took lives into a great Resurrection!

Ludmila Leukhina
Art Beauty Industry Biotech, Kharkiv

Sergey Melnikoff and Magomed Kuraev from the Khacharay teip, the representative of the Republic of Ichkeria in Poland, at the International Conference dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the deportation of Chechens and Ingush by the Soviet regime, the 30th anniversary of the start of Russia’s war against the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, and the 10th anniversary of Moscow’s war against Ukraine. Kyiv, February 28, 2024

In the world of art, there is a delicate yet eternal thread that connects the past and the present, memory and creativity. It runs through the hearts and souls of artists, inspiring them to create works that become symbols of their time and of human strength.

The national emblem of Ichkeria was crafted by Sergey Melnikoff as part of his anti-war project “War Artifacts in Art.” Five thousand elements of a highly intricate metal puzzle are combined into a sculptural representation of Ichkeria’s state symbol. This contemporary artwork is made from fragments of mines, artillery shells, and military ammunition collected from the battlefields with the Russian aggressor on Ukrainian soil.

This unique piece is dedicated by the artist to the 80th anniversary of the birth of Dzhokhar Dudayev (Dudin Musa-khant Dzhokhar 1944 — 2024), the First President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.

Throughout history, every empire has had its fools, but for fools to establish their own empire is unprecedented in human history.

— Sergey Melnikoff

The virtuoso welder Viktor Belchik (on the right) and Fedir Kuskovalsky proudly display the finished Ichkeria Coat of Arms. Fedir provided the delivery of ammunition fragments from the front-line territories. February 24, 2024, Odessa

The painstaking work of creating the Coat of Arms of Free Ichkeria was completed on February 24, 2024. Two years ago, on this day, Russia treacherously attacked a neighboring peaceful country with the aim of mass terror and genocide of the Ukrainian population.

But before this, Russian “knights” had trained for generations on other nations unwilling to immerse themselves in the foul “Russian world.” Two years ago, on this day, the Russians planned to capture Kyiv in three days. Thirty years ago, they also “successfully” captured Grozny…

The thousands of elements that make up the sculpture of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria’s Coat of Arms symbolize the lives of the heroes of this beautiful Caucasian country taken by the Russians.

For Chechens, the Coat of Arms of their Motherland, created by their National Hero, is the work of the century!

“If there is no strength to win, let there be enough strength not to submit…”

— Dzhokhar Dudayev

Sergey Melnikoff (on the right) and Viktor Belchik in creative pursuit.

Having understood the essence of Rashism back in Soviet times, Sergey Melnikoff became, as they used to say, a “dissident of the regime.” In reality, he was simply an honest, truthful, and straightforward person who was not afraid to challenge the bloody monster called the Soviet Union.

A quarter of a century ago, Sergey Melnikoff created two websites, “GULAG — with a Camera through the Camps” and “Free Speech,” that told the true story of the so-called “Russian people.” Without propagandist gloss and embellishments. These resources quickly became wildly popular, garnering several million readers — it got to the point where people started recognizing Sergey on the streets. In those years, even such an anti-Russian broadcast giant as Kavkaz Center acknowledged the man who single-handedly opposed the vast empire of Russian barbarians. The editors of Kavkaz Center considered Sergey’s websites the second most influential for the Russian-speaking audience, placing their significance right after their own publication. Dozens of Sergey’s works were reprinted by Chechen websites without cuts or comments. In those years, the readership of the “Free Speech” website exceeded all opposition Russian newspapers combined.

“Dear reader! Here you will discover the Russian Darkness. Its Children. Its Parents. Their Offspring. The Russian People…” — with this phrase, Sergey introduced access to his famous resources.

“To march in step, one only needs a spinal cord.”

— Albert Einstein

Two legendary fighters against the Russian world: Chechen Akhmed Zakayev and American Sergey Melnikoff at the opening of the International Conference of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in the capital of Ukraine on February 28, 2024

Ukraine became the first state to officially recognize Ichkeria as an independent country temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation.

Sergey Melnikoff has always stood above the political disagreements of the Chechens. He has remained true to this position to this day, paying tribute to the courage of Chechen freedom fighters, regardless of their religious, political beliefs, or other affiliations. To the American artist, the Chechen people have always appeared as one. The entire life of this legendary person has been dedicated to protecting the honor and dignity of the proud Caucasians, wherever they may be.

The announced decision by the Government of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria to grant Sergey Melnikoff citizenship of their country is a logical step in the fate of their National Hero.

Similarly, the creation of the sculptural composition of the State Coat of Arms of Ichkeria was not so much a personal desire of the artist as an honorable duty of the Hero of Ichkeria, Sergey Melnikoff.

“The so-called Russian ‘people’ are the offspring of the Chekist hyena. The Russian population consists of genetic scum, natural-born killers, mentally retarded degenerates, and moral freaks. Such a ‘Frankenstein’ should have no place on our planet. There are no ‘good Russians.’ This is an oxymoron.”

— Sergey Melnikoff

Sergey Melnikoff, Akhmed Zakayev, and Olexander Kostetsky — a member of the “Soul of Ukraine” fund, thanks to regular donations from which the sculpture of the Free Ichkeria Coat of Arms was created.

Sergey Melnikoff is well known for his ability to organize PR campaigns for his works on an international level. This talent, along with his highest professionalism in the art of commercial photography, has been utilized at various times by such global business giants as Coca-Cola, Carlsberg, InterContinental, and several major national airlines.

Therefore, it was not surprising that Sergey was able to organize the presentation of the majestic 100-kilogram sculpture of the Chechen national coat of arms to the Government of the Republic of Ichkeria from the hands of the third President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, on behalf of the Ukrainian people in gratitude for their support on the battlefield against the Russian world of killers.

“Never bend to circumstances! Never betray the dreams of your childhood! Never cast pearls before swine! Call the Russian world what it always has been, is, and will be — a bloody, stinking, wooden outhouse. A world of moral degenerates.”

— Sergey Melnikoff

Lieutenant General Viktor Balitsky presents Sergey Melnikoff with the “Unity and Will to Victory” order during the Chechen conference in Kyiv.

Unexpectedly for the organizers of the Chechen conference, a group of Ukrainian children appeared on stage, victims of missile attacks by the Russian army on residential buildings and places with large gatherings of civilians: train stations, shopping centers, and even schools.

The injured children, accompanied by doctors, were brought to the conference directly from medical facilities in Kharkiv. Some still had fragments — there is so much Russian military metal in the children’s bodies that it cannot be removed in a single operation.

Anastasia, who had been living peacefully in Kharkiv before the war, was confined to a wheelchair by a Russian air bomb. The brother and sister, Tatyana and Alexander from Vyshhorod, were filled with shrapnel by a Russian ballistic missile while sleeping in their children’s room.

The children, along with their attending doctors, were brought at Sergey’s request so that the master could show the world who he is creating a children’s rehabilitation center for in Albania.

These Ukrainian children, along with President Viktor Yushchenko and the representative of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Mykhailo Podolyak, had the moral and legal right to present the Chechens with their coat of arms on behalf of the Ukrainian people. It should be noted that Sergey Melnikoff, a Ukrainian by blood and a citizen of the USA, cannot make gifts on behalf of Ukraine.

The highlight of the international conference was the presentation of the Ichkeria Coat of Arms to Akhmed Zakayev. On the left side of the photograph is Anastasia from Kharkiv, who can only move around in a wheelchair for now. Next to her are Anatoliy Lavrinenko, Sergey Melnikoff, leading neurosurgeon of Kharkiv Mikola Posokhov, the brother and sister from Vyshhorod, Tatyana and Alexander. Famous Kharkiv volunteer Irina Dontsova is also present. The next two children from frontline Kharkiv are Kristina and Dariy. Kristina’s black mask covers a face badly scarred by shrapnel, not an anti-COVID mask as one might think today. On the right side of the picture are the third President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, advisor to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Mykhailo Podolyak, and the Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, Akhmed Zakayev.

“Being Russian is a mortal sin!”

Sergey Melnikoff talks about the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022. The first cruise missiles hit the area of his home near Kyiv in the town of Vasylkiv, famous for its resistance. It was in these places that the elite Russian special forces were completely destroyed by the Ichkerian volunteer battalion. On the right of the photograph stands the third President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko.

— Sergey Melnikoff

The International Conference of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in Kyiv served as a VIP platform not only for the presentation of a new direction in contemporary art. The event provided an opportunity to inform distinguished foreign guests about the project of the children’s rehabilitation center of the “Soul of Ukraine” fund in Albania, which will primarily receive Ukrainian children who have suffered severe injuries, a number that continues to grow with the ongoing Russian aggression.

Today, the International Charitable Fund “Soul of Ukraine,” founded by Sergey Melnikoff, is preparing a grand exhibition in the capital of Albania, Tirana. It is planned that during this pro-Ukrainian anti-war performance, Ukrainians will present the Republic of Albania with their national coat of arms, which was created by the American artist from feather-shaped shrapnel pieces left over from Russian MLRS attacks on Ukrainian villages and cities, shrapnel that now litters the Ukrainian black soil.

“Russophobia is the anti-fascism of the 21st century!”

— Sergey Melnikoff

Dr. Vitaliy Tsymbalyuk, a neurosurgery scientist and President of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, and Sergey Melnikoff are communicating with Anastasia from Kharkiv, who was injured by a Russian missile.

Hero of Ichkeria Sergey Melnikoff’s Address to the Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, Akhmed Zakayev

Your Excellency!

Allow me to express my deepest gratitude for the generous gift of providing the artist with the unique opportunity to realize not just a symbolic idea, but to create a majestic Coat of Arms that embodies a yearning for freedom, transcending the borders of our country and rising to a global level!

This historic creation symbolizes the unwavering will of a people who have been fighting for their independence from tyranny and despotism for four centuries.

Having the honor to bring to life the symbol of an entire nation is a great calling for a person. Such a unique chance, provided by Divine Providence to only one in ten generations, imposes the greatest obligation on the artist to achieve absolute perfection.

The State Coat of Arms of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, created by me in collaboration with Viktor Belchik from the fragments of rocket artillery shells and five thousand bullet casings collected in the fields of Ukraine, at the sites of fierce battles with the Russian aggressor, symbolizes not only our struggle against global evil but also our hope for a better future.

The thousands of elements composing the sculpture of the Coat of Arms of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria symbolize the lives of the heroes of your beautiful Caucasian country, taken by the Russians.

It is no coincidence that the completion of the work on the creation of the symbol of Free Ichkeria fell on February 24th — a black day in the history of the Chechen and Ukrainian peoples, who suffer so painfully from the treachery and cruelty of those who have forgotten humanity in their pursuit of power and senseless control over our destinies.

But we will live fighting, remembering the prophetic words of the first President of the Republic of Ichkeria, Dzhokhar Dudayev: “Russia will fall when the Ukrainian sun rises!”

With a deep sense of pride, I dedicate this symbolic creation to the 80th anniversary of the birth of the great son of the Chechen people — Dudin Musa-khant Dzhokhar.


“The main vileness of Russian life is not rudeness, and not even the treatment of a person as dirt, but the dumb silent consent to continue an unworthy life and the desire to justify it eternally. In the animalistic ability to justify everything lies the stinking Russian soul.”

— Sergey Melnikoff

Members of the Executive Directorate of the Soul of Ukraine, an International Charitable Foundation, at the International Conference of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. From left to right: Vadim Rudnik, Sergey Melnikoff, Valery Grebenyuk, Anatoly Lavrinenko, and Mikola Posokhov — the leading neurosurgeon of the city of Kharkiv.

Sergey Melnikoff is preparing to conduct a grand photo shoot in Ukraine, calling his project “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” For this major charitable project, the photo artist has invited one hundred of the most famous people in the world to be photographed among the ruins of Ukrainian villages and collapsed high-rise buildings: Madonna, Paul McCartney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Branson, Sylvester Stallone, Sigourney Weaver, J.K. Rowling, Mark Zuckerberg, Elton John, Denzel Washington, Sergey Brin, Clint Eastwood, and many other global celebrities. Among these hundred world stars is Akhmed Zakayev.

While scouting locations in Kharkiv among the destroyed homes, Sergey wrote on his website:

“While I was choosing locations for the photo shoot, I had a terrible desire to pilot the ‘Enola Gay’ over Moscow…”

“The Russian has a disinterested love for meanness. He will gain nothing from it, but he will do something nasty to his neighbor.”

— N.V. Gogol

The third President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, and Sergey Melnikoff are passionately discussing something on stage at the International Conference.

Sergey Melnikoff’s achievements and awards mark him as an icon of contemporary art. His profound impact and innovative approach to creativity have earned him the title of one of the most creative masters in the world of art.

For his public activity, his steadfastness against evil, and his unique creativity, Sergey Melnikoff, a.k.a. MFF, is the most titled master of contemporary art photography.

“To those who have awakened, we thank you!
Dear Sergey Melnikoff, you are like Jesus who came to his fellow Jews to curse them — ‘Your father is the devil…’ That is why Christ was crucified.
You also curse these degenerate Russian scoundrels. This, in my opinion, is the greatest moral feat, in Islam — the Great Jihad.
By the way, in Islam, the ink of a scholar (and you are undoubtedly a scholar on Russia) is valued higher than the blood of a martyr.”

Ukraine’s third president, Viktor Yushchenko, and Sergey Melnikoff pose for a commemorative photo near the Coat of Arms of Free Ichkeria.

The video segment tells about the stages of creating the main symbol of Free Ichkeria — a sculptural depiction of the State Coat of Arms of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. This unique work of art was created by Sergey Melnikoff, who specially came to a workshop on the outskirts of Odessa, where metal specialist and master welder Viktor Belchik works.

The work on the sculptural depiction of the Ichkeria coat of arms took a full month and was completed on February 24, 2024. Two years ago, on this day, the Russians decided to take Kyiv in three days...

“Once the war in Ukraine concludes, the mere mention of ‘Russian’ will carry the weight of a curse. There will be no greater insult than to label someone as ‘ Russian.’ Neither Judas nor Herod, nothing since biblical times, can compare in terms of wickedness, worthlessness, vulgarity, and repulsive abomination to those branded with this epithet – ‘ Russian’.”

Sergey Melnikoff with the author of the photo report Mariia Universaliuk.

— Sergey Melnikoff