Banksy artwork appears on shelled, destroyed building in Ukraine

Famed graffiti artist Banksy unveiled a new mural on Friday on the side of a destroyed building in Borodyanka, a Ukrainian town that was heavily shelled and then later occupied by Russian forces in the early days of the war.

The anonymous artist, known for his often-political, guerilla-style street art, revealed the new piece on social media, but photos show that there may be other Banksy pieces in Ukraine that the artist didn’t immediately disclose.

In an Instagram post, Banksy shared photos of the artwork, depicting a young gymnast performing a handstand while balancing on a pile of concrete rubble.

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A second mural was spotted in Borodyanka in Banksy’s signature spray-painted style, Reuters reported, though the artist didn’t share the piece on social media. The artwork depicts a judo spar between a small child and a man. The child, firmly planted, flips the larger man over his head — a scene similar to the biblical story of David and Goliath.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who holds a black belt in judo, is not shy about his public love of the sport. Reuters writes that the “symbolism of the piece was unmistakable.”

Graffiti of a child throwing a man on the floor in judo clothing is seen on a wall amid damaged buildings in Borodyanka on Nov. 11 in Kyiv Region, Ukraine. Ed Ram/Getty Images

In March, Russia targeted the sleepy commuter village of Borodyanka with a series of missiles and powerful FAB-250 bombs, which are designed to destroy large military targets, none of which existed in the small town.

High-rise buildings were cleaved in two by the force of the detonations as Russian forces advanced through the town and on toward Kyiv. Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova reported a death toll of more than 120 people and deemed the situation in Borodyanka the worst in the region in terms of civilian casualties.

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Click to play video: 'Video shows moments after Russian airstrikes hit Ukrainian village of Borodyanka'
Video shows moments after Russian airstrikes hit Ukrainian village of Borodyanka

Russian soldiers occupied the town for weeks until it was liberated by Ukraine in April. Two hundred buildings were left completely or partially destroyed.

A third unconfirmed Banksy work was found on the outskirts of Kyiv, near the site of a notorious massacre of hundreds of civilians, the BBC reported. The piece, which was spotted in the neighbourhood of Irpin, shows a rhythmic gymnast wearing a neck brace performing with a ribbon. She is balanced on top of a gaping hole on the side of a building.

Graffiti of a woman in a leotard and a neck brace waving a ribbon is seen on the wall of a destroyed building in Irpin on November 11, 2022 in Kyiv Region, Ukraine. Ed Ram/Getty Images

Irpin lies at the doorstep of Kyiv and was the site of a deadly Russian occupation in March when forces swept through the area. The BBC reports that around 290 civilians were killed, many shot by Russian forces during a month of terror in the town’s southwestern quarter, witnesses said.

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Click to play video: 'Russia-Ukraine conflict: France’s Macron says war crimes committed in Irpin'
Russia-Ukraine conflict: France’s Macron says war crimes committed in Irpin

A fourth unconfirmed work was spotted north of Irpin in the Hostomel neighbourhood of the Kyiv region. The mural shows a person in a dressing gown with hair curlers and wearing a gas mask, holding a fire extinguisher. The person is standing on top of an abandoned chair and was spray-painted on the mustard-yellow wall of a destroyed building.

Street art of a person in a dressing gown, holding a fire extinguisher and wearing a gas mask is painted on a wall of a destroyed building in Hostomel near Antonov Airport on Nov. 12, Kyiv Region, Ukraine. Ed Ram/Getty Images

A fifth potential Banksy mural was found in Kyiv and shows two children sitting on a concrete roadblock known as a “hedgehog” that is used as an anti-tank measure. The children sit at different heights, giving the impression that they are using the concrete slabs as a see-saw.

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Street art of two children is painted on blocks of concrete in Independence Square on Nov. 12 in Kyiv Region, Ukraine. The artwork on the anti-tank obstacles, referred to as ‘hedgehogs,’ creates the impression that children are playing on a seesaw. Ed Ram/Getty Images

Aside from the social media post, the elusive artist has not publicly commented on the multiple artworks scattered throughout the war-torn country.

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