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The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis is expressing its support for Ukraine, with both a statement and new display on its exterior.

The museum, located at 5500 Stevens Avenue South, is the only institution in all of North America dedicated solely to Russian art, and from all periods throughout history. In the days following Vladimir Putin's violent invasion of Ukraine, the museum has explicitly denounced Russia's actions.

"The Museum of Russian Art stands with the people of Ukraine and urges Russia to cease hostilities immediately and withdraw," a statement on its website and social media pages says. 

The museum, which is housed in a former church on a busy corner, also put a large blue and yellow display on its exterior, mirroring the Ukrainian flag.

"The Museum of Russian Art promotes understanding of the art, people and culture of Muscovite Russia, the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, its former republics, and post-Soviet Russia through outstanding exhibitions, cultural presentations, and educational programs serving the people of Minnesota and the nation," a statement on its website says. "The Museum upholds an independent voice and the freedom of expression to carry out its mission unconstrained by influence from foreign governments, political actors and/or corporate or individual interests."

Russia, at the direction of Putin, began its all-out assault on Ukraine on Feb. 24. Videos have shown explosions and fighting and towns and cities throughout eastern Ukraine, including a missile that struck a residential building in the capital of Kyiv, and seemingly indiscriminate shelling in Kharkiv.

The death toll, as of Monday afternoon, is unknown, though one report estimates civilian casualties to be at least 102.

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