Banksy unveils new mural in Ukraine among country’s war ruins

Amid the ruins of war, the flowerings of art.

A delicate painting of a gymnast doing a handstand has popped up on the wall of a wrecked building outside of Kyiv and appears to be the work of the British graffiti artist known as Banksy.

Banksy posted photos on his Instagram page of the artwork in Borodyanka, northwest of Ukraine’s capital.

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The town was the target of shelling and fighting in the early stages of the Russian invasion, which turned apartment buildings into charred, bombed-out hulks.

The mural of the gymnast is in black and white and is painted so she looks like she is doing her handstand on the crumpled remains of concrete blocks that poke out of the blackened wall. Towering above her are the gutted, blown-apart innards of what were once apartments.

A mural by British street artist Banksy is displayed on a war-torn building in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, on Nov. 13, 2022. 

A mural by British street artist Banksy is displayed on a war-torn building in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, on Nov. 13, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko)

Another mural in the town — of a small boy doing a judo throw on a man — also looked like it might be Banksy’s, although that wasn’t posted on his Instagram page.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia is a judo practitioner.

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A Banksy-like painting, also in black and white and again not confirmed as his by Banksy himself, also appeared on the wall of a war-damaged building in the town of Irpin, on Kyiv’s northwestern outskirts.

It shows a rhythmic gymnast doing a pirouette with a ribbon, over a gaping hole in the wall.

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