The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Banksy unveils mural of gymnast on a destroyed building in Ukraine

World-renowned graffiti artist Banksy unveiled a work in the Ukrainian town of Borodyanka, which had been occupied by Russia until April. (Video: Reuters)

British street artist Banksy unveiled his latest artwork, this time in Ukraine, putting an end to weeks of speculation about whether he had traveled to the country.

The anonymous graffiti artist shared images of a mural depicting a female gymnast balancing on the rubble of a destroyed building on his Instagram page late Friday.

However, he gave no information about the piece or his travels — revealing only its location as the town of Borodyanka, in the Kyiv region.

The town, which lies about 30 miles to the northwest of the Ukrainian capital, was besieged by Russian forces in the early weeks of the Feb. 24 invasion and subjected to aerial bombardment. It was recaptured by Ukraine in early April.

A care center for Ukraine’s disabled in Borodyanka deals with the trauma of occupation

Other murals, similar to Banksy’s signature style, have also appeared in the region, although the artist has not confirmed whether they belonged to him.

One, also in Borodyanka, shows a child throwing a man resembling Russian President Vladimir Putin to the floor during a judo match. Putin holds a black belt in the sport and has even starred in an instructional video titled “Let’s Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin.”

Another image, this time in the Kyiv suburb of Irpin, shows a rhythmic gymnast wearing a neck brace while performing with a ribbon over a hole on the side of a building.

There have been calls for investigations into alleged Russian war crimes in Irpin and neighboring Bucha.

This is not the first time that Banksy’s work has been associated with Ukraine following the Russian invasion: In March, a print of one of his most famous antiwar pieces, “CND Soldiers,” was sold, with the proceeds going to a children’s hospital in Kyiv. The artwork was painted near the British parliament in 2003, during protests against the war in Iraq.

How Banksy became the world’s most famous unidentified person

Despite being one of the world’s best-known street artists, Banksy has managed to maintain his anonymity since he rose to fame in the 1990s.

War in Ukraine: What you need to know

The latest: Russia claimed to have seized control of Soledar, a heavily contested salt-mining town in eastern Ukraine where fighting has raged recently, but a Ukrainian military official maintained that the battle was not yet over. The U.S. and Germany are sending tanks to Ukraine.

Russia’s Gamble: The Post examined the road to war in Ukraine, and Western efforts to unite to thwart the Kremlin’s plans, through extensive interviews with more than three dozen senior U.S., Ukrainian, European and NATO officials.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground from the beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.

How you can help: Here are ways those in the U.S. can support the Ukrainian people as well as what people around the world have been donating.

Read our full coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war. Are you on Telegram? Subscribe to our channel for updates and exclusive video.

Loading...