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The Soviet Liberator, also known as Russian Liberator, or Le Liberator Face, refers to a Russophobe caricature of Soviet soldiers with exaggerated Slavic phenotypes. The faces of these soldiers, originally from a 1940s painting, were turned into exploitable images to portray Russians in a humorous or negative way in memes.
The original image comes from a painting made by Herbert Smagon sometime in the 1940s after WW2, titled "Besetzung der stadt Rössel in Ostpreussen am 28/1/1945" (Occupation of the city Roessel, East Prussia, 1945), which depicts soldiers of the Red Army, as they rape and slaughter some German women they've captured, proudly smiling and snickering during the act. The soldier pulling down his pants became the signature image of the meme (shown below).
On November 29th, 2014, an anonymous user on the 4chan board Politically Incorrect (/pol/) posted the original painting with the caption, "Germans killed more than 30 millions Soviet people. I wonder, why they didnt rape and kill all Germans. And this story is propagandistic tale/ Russian AIB even have a special mem – 'liberator,' which originated from this picture of German propaganda (shown below)."
The painting, as well as the image itself, are commonly known on imageboards such as 4chan, particularly on the boards /pol/, /int/ and /bant/. Anonymous users usually edited the painting or photoshopped the faces of the Soviet soldiers on several other posters or artworks, as well as real-life Russian personalities such as Vladimir Putin (shown below, left) and Natalia Poklonskaya (shown below, right).
On August 15th, 2015, Redditor EDEMassHund shared the original painting and other Herbert Smagon works to the /r/PropagandaPosters subreddit. The post received over 415 upvotes in six months. On November 9th, 2014, an anonymous 4chan user created a thread asking for more pictures of the meme, commenting, "I lost my liberator folder pls halp, post pics." On July 7th, 2019, a YouTuber named Avtomat uploaded "the eternal liberator meme" showing several of the memes created on 4chan, receiving over 440 views in over one year (shown below).