Banksy unveils Ukraine mural in town bombed by Russia

Banksy, the elusive British street artist, has painted a mural on a bombed-out building outside Ukraine’s capital, in what Ukrainians have hailed as a symbol of their country’s invincibility.

On Friday evening, the world-famous graffiti artist posted on Instagram three images of the artwork – a gymnast performing a handstand among the ruins of a demolished building in the city of Borodyanka, northwest of the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

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The caption reads “Borodyanka, Ukraine.”

Along with towns like Bucha and Irpin, Borodyanka was hit hard by Russian bombings and became a symbol of the devastation caused by The Moscow Offensive since February.

The city was briefly occupied by Russian forces before withdrawing in April.

“It’s a symbol that we are indestructible,” Oleksiy Savochka, 32, told AFP on Saturday, referring to the graffiti. “And our country is inviolable.”

A number of murals – in the style of Banksy – have appeared in and around Kiev prompting Ukrainians to think that the anonymous street artist might be working in the war-torn country.

Another graffiti in Borodyanka – its origin not confirmed by the artist – shows a boy pulling a man wearing a judo uniform to the ground.

A local resident walks past a graffiti on a wall of a destroyed building, drawn in the style of Banksy but its origin is not confirmed by the artist, in the city of Borodyanka on November 12, 2022, in the middle of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images

The scene could be a possible reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is a martial arts enthusiast.

“It’s a boy against an old man and he’s defeated, he’s already defeated,” Bogdan Mashay, a 30-year-old Ukrainian TV journalist, told AFP near the artwork.

“It’s incredible that Banksy is here in Borodyanka,” he added.

On the side of a ruined building in Irpin, a third mural – also not confirmed by Banksy – shows a gymnast performing a ribbon routine despite apparently being injured and wearing a collar.

TOPSHOT – Local residents look at a Banksy-style graffiti on the wall of a destroyed residential building, but its origin remains unconfirmed by the artist, in Irpin, near Kiev on November 12, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images

On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared Kherson “ours” after Russia withdrew troops from the southern strategic city.

Kherson was the first major urban center to fall after Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine on February 24.


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