Banksy in Ukraine

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Banksy in Ukraine

Opens: 14 Nov 2022

New Banksy murals appear in Kyiv, Irpin, and Borodyanka

Banksy is back.

Infamous British graffiti-artist Banksy has confirmed the creation of seven murals in Ukraine, spanning several locations, from Kyiv, to Irpin, and Borodyanka.

Prior to his official confirmation on Instagram over the weekend, there has been mounting online speculation on whether the stencil works belonged to the anonymous artist.

Mural by Banksy on a destroyed building in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine.

Mural by Banksy on a destroyed building in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine.

ANDREW KRAVCHENKO | AP

One mural in Borodyanka, initially appearing on photojournalist @edr4m’s Instagram, depicts a child throwing a man onto the floor in a Judo match. The man bears resemblance to Russian president Vladimir Putin, who is a notable admirer of the sport and holds a black belt - this was later revoked by the International Judo Federation in March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A second piece shows two children using a metal tank trap as a seesaw spray-painted onto a concrete defensive block in Kyiv, a third mural depicts a gymnast doing a handstand on the ruins of a bombed building.

Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022.
Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022.

Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022.

Andrew Kravchenko / AFP

One of the recent Banksy pieces shows two children using a metal tank trap as a seesaw spray-painted onto a concrete defensive block in Kyiv.

One of the recent Banksy pieces shows two children using a metal tank trap as a seesaw spray-painted onto a concrete defensive block in Kyiv.

PA Media / DPA

The third artwork by Banksy to appear in Ukraine depicts a gymnast in a neck brace performing a ribbon routine.
The third artwork by Banksy to appear in Ukraine depicts a gymnast in a neck brace performing a ribbon routine.

The third artwork by Banksy to appear in Ukraine depicts a gymnast in a neck brace performing a ribbon routine.

PA Media, DPA / Andrew Kravchenko

Four additional works were confirmed by Banksy. They include a man taking a bath on the exposed wall of a destroyed building; a woman in hair curlers wearing a gas mask and holding a fire extinguisher; a gymnast in a neck brace performing a ribbon routine; and another in which we see the graffiti of a penis, loaded on the back of an armoured truck making it look like a missile.

One of Banksy's murals spotted in Ukraine.
One of Banksy's murals spotted in Ukraine.

One of Banksy's murals spotted in Ukraine.

@edr4m Ed Ram / Reuters Photo

Banksy has shared images of the works on his Instagram page on 12 November.
Banksy has shared images of the works on his Instagram page on 12 November.

Banksy has shared images of the works on his Instagram page on 12 November.

Reuters Photo / AFP

Borodyanka, Irpin, and Bucha were some of the places hardest hit by Russian airstrikes and fighting in the first few weeks of conflict. There have been widespread calls for investigations into alleged Russian war crimes in these regions, following horrific discoveries of mass civilian graves in Borodyanka, a town just northwest of Kyiv.

These new murals are Banksy’s first public works in over a year.

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