Banksy, the elusive British street artist, has painted a mural on a bombed-out building near the Ukrainian capital that Ukrainians call a symbol of their country’s invincibility.
On Friday night, the world-renowned graffiti artist posted three images of the artwork on Instagram, showing a gymnast doing push-ups amid the rubble of a demolished building in the town of Borodyanka, northwest of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
The headline read “Borodyanka, Ukraine”.
Along with cities such as Bucha and Irpin, Borodyanka suffered heavily from Russian bombing and became a symbol of destruction. Attack on Moscow from February
The city was briefly occupied by Russian forces before they withdrew in April.
“This is a symbol that we are unbreakable,” 32-year-old Oleksiju Savočka told AFP on Saturday, referring to the graffiti. “And our country is unbreakable.”
A series of Banksy-style murals have appeared in and around Kiev, prompting Ukrainians to believe that the anonymous street artist can work in the war-torn country.
Another graffiti in Borodyanka, the origin of which the artist has not confirmed, shows a small boy throwing a man in a judo uniform to the ground.
The scene could be a possible reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is a martial arts enthusiast.
“It’s a little boy against an old man and he’s defeated, he’s already defeated,” Ukrainian TV journalist Bogdan Mashay, 30, told AFP next to the artwork.
“It’s unbelievable that Banksy is here in Borodyanka,” he added.
On the Irpine side of a demolished building, a third mural, also uncredited by Banksy, depicts a gymnast performing a ribbon exercise despite being injured and wearing a neck collar.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said on Friday Kherson “ours” after Russia withdrew its troops from the strategic southern city.
Kherson was the first major urban center to fall since Putin’s February 24 coup. ordered Russian troops to enter Ukraine.