“Mother Russia!” shouts the astronaut back on Earth. “No question of Russia, it’s Ukraine!”, replies the peasant woman. And he, stunned, replies: “But Ukraine is Russia.” And no, the angry woman replies: “Ukraine is Ukraine.”

The location of the De Agostini geographical atlas dated 1995 was unintentionally prophetic: “We had to discover this great conglomeration of states, regions, ethnicities and languages ​​that was the USSR, of which we knew nothing ; imagine if we had any idea. of what would have happened after 20 years”, recalls Luciano Nardi, author of the advertising for the geographical atlas De Agostini commissioned at the time by Corriere della Sera, in an interview with the Dire agency.

The Russian cosmonaut had missed a piece of history: in 1991, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States was born and on December 1 of the same year, Ukraine declared its independence from Moscow by a referendum with 90 percent of the votes. population.

Ten years after the annexation of Crimea sanctioned by Putin on March 18, 2014 – after the sending of troops in reaction to the Euromaidan demonstrations in Kiev and a referendum outside the rules of international law – and more than two years after the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the advertisement remains surprisingly relevant.

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