A beautifully designed red and black lithographed poster shows a stylised image of a Polish leader Józef Klemens Piłsudski (1867 – 1935), walking away with stolen goods. A sign above says: Hireling Petljura sold the Ukrainian land to the Poles!. The title is referring to Symon Petliura (1879 – 1926), a Ukrainian leader, who proved open to making an agreement with Poland in order to prevent his country from falling to the Bolsheviks.
The poster was printed by Bolsheviks in Ukraine, who were defeated by the Petliura. As a result of the dispute, the Bolsheviks lost their power and Petliura’s government agreed for Poland to annex the bordering Galicia and Volhynia (Wołyń) regions.
In 1918 and 1919 a conflict between Ukraine and Poland broke up as a result of the October Revolution in Russia and the end of WWI in Europe, in which both countries clamed Chełm Land and Volhynia (Wołyń) regions.
Following the Russian Revolution of 1917 the Ukrainian People's Republic or Ukrainian National Republic was declared as a predecessor of modern Ukraine. In the following years the state was caught between two poles: pro-Russian Bolsheviks and anti-Bolshevik politicians.
In 1920, a Ukrainian statesman Symon Petliura defeated the Bolsheviks with a help of Polish soldiers. On April 21, he signed an agreement with the Polish statesman Józef Klemens Piłsudski, one of the most influential Polish political figures between the two world wars. He was Chief of State (1918–22), First Marshal of Poland from 1920, and de facto leader (1926–35) of the Second Polish Republic.
As a reward for the Polish help to fight against the Bolsheviks, Petliura moved the border between Poland and Ukraine on the Zbruch River, allowing Poland to annex disputed countries Galicia and Volhynia.
This poster made by an unknown author, showing Piłsudski with his typical moustaches walking away with his “stolen” goods, was published by a Ukrainian Bolsheviks after their defeat in 1920.