Long-running US cartoon The Simpsons has shared a specially commissioned cartoon in solidarity with Ukraine.
The show’s executive producer Al Jean said the rapid creation of such a politically relevant image did not happen “very often” but it was important to be “vigilant about defending freedom.”
The cartoon, drawn by long-time animator and director David Silverman, shows the famous yellow family holding Ukrainian flags with straight expressions.
It comes as violence in Ukraine continues following the commencement of military operations by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Writers of The Simpsons have previously gained a reputation for predicting events in the real world, with a similar scenario to the recent events in Ukraine depicted in an episode.
The 1998 episode, titled Simpson Tide, jokes that the Soviet Union was never truly dissolved as army troops and tanks arrive on the streets and the Berlin Wall is resurrected.
Mr Jean told the PA news agency that he was “really sad this came true, but not surprised.”
“It’s been said that there are two types of Simpsons predictions,” he said.
“There are these insane coincidences like Trump, then there’s things like this where I’m really sad it came true, but not surprised.”
“You could see this coming”
“You could see this coming for a long time… so I think you just have to be very vigilant about defending freedom.
“Believe me The Simpsons are for freedom, freedom of expression, freedom everywhere.”
Mr Jean said show producer Jim Brooks had called himself, Matt Groening and David Silverman to commission the image as “a show of solidarity.”
“It’s meant to show we care about what’s going on and have enormous sympathy for the people of Ukraine and want this to stop,” he said.
He added: “We don’t do this very often, only very rarely when there’s something… extremely important for a cause that could not be bigger.
“The future of democracy in the world is at stake.”
On the image’s impact Mr Jean said: “I’m not presumptuous enough that one drawing will change that but it’s one little thing and we like it.”