The humiliating incident occurred ahead of the 68th Victory Day back in April 2013, the Russian news agency Interfax reported at the time. But amid the devastating war in Ukraine, that has been going on for over two months, the blunder was brought back into the public dialogue, with the photos circulating on social media.
A caption on the poster reads “This is our victory” but, in fact, shown is a famous photo of US marines hoisting the flag over the Japanese mountain Suribachi.
The photo was taken on February 23, 1945, during the battle of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima in World War II, and military journalist Joe Rosenthal was awarded the Putitzer Prize for it.
The US Marine Corps War Memorial located in Arlington County, Virginia, is based on this photograph.
The administration of Zlatoust city in Russia became aware of the humiliating poster and had it taken down one day later.
A spokesman for the Zlatoust administration called out the company responsible for the gaffe.
He told Interfax at the time: “The Chelyabinsk advertising company Armada Outdoor, which owns the design of the billboard, without our consent, decided on its own initiative to do a good deed – to congratulate the veterans and citizens on May 9.
“When we noticed the poster, we phoned the representatives of the company and offered to remove it.
“The poster was taken down the next day.”
A representative of the Zlatoust branch of the Armada Outdoor company admitted the guilt of the enterprise.