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New Banksy artwork appears amid Ukraine war wreckage near Kiev

The British graffiti artist appeared on Instagram to claim responsibility for at least one of three murals.
An artwork by British street artist Banksy is seen on a destroyed by fightings building in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine on Sunday.
An artwork by British street artist Banksy is seen on a destroyed by fightings building in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine on Sunday. [ ANDREW KRAVCHENKO | AP ]
Published Nov. 13, 2022

BORODYANKA, Ukraine — 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.

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.

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.

Women take a picture with an artwork on a destroyed by fightings building in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. The artwork was supposedly made by British street artist Banksy. Another mural in Borodyanka was confirmed as being made by the artist.
Women take a picture with an artwork on a destroyed by fightings building in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. The artwork was supposedly made by British street artist Banksy. Another mural in Borodyanka was confirmed as being made by the artist. [ ANDREW KRAVCHENKO | AP ]

President Vladimir Putin of Russia is a judo practitioner.

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.

People walk their dogs past an artwork on a destroyed by fightings building in Irpin, Kyiv region, Ukraine, on Sunday. The artworkwas  supposedly made by British street artist Banksy. Another mural in nearby village of Borodyanka was confirmed as being made by the artist.
People walk their dogs past an artwork on a destroyed by fightings building in Irpin, Kyiv region, Ukraine, on Sunday. The artworkwas supposedly made by British street artist Banksy. Another mural in nearby village of Borodyanka was confirmed as being made by the artist. [ ANDREW KRAVCHENKO | AP ]