Banksy hits Ukraine: Elusive artist unveils symbolic mural in town devastated by Russia

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Banksy’s latest work has been unveiled on the side of a building hit by Russian shelling in war torn Ukraine. The black and white graffiti features a handstanding gymnast surrounded by debris.It was revealed by the elusive artist on Instagram, pictured from three different angles with the caption identifying its location: ‘Borodyanka, Ukraine’.Borodyanka is described as a “quiet, one street town” with a pre-war population of around 13,000. It is located 36 miles north west of Kyiv.It was bombed heavily in April. Buildings were obliterated as invaders targeted infrastructure at night while residents were likely home.At least 200 were killed in the town with around 90 percent of residents fleeing. Some were even reported to have hidden in caves.These details may indicate why the world renowned artist – whose hidden identity is a source of constant speculation – chose to leave his mark.Another piece in Borodyanka, which has not been confirmed to be Bansky but resembles the artist’s work, depicts a man resembling Vladimir Putin being beaten in Judo by a young child.The Russian leader, 70, is known to be especially fond of the martial art and holds a black belt in Judo.More graffiti in Banksy’s style has also been spotted in Irpin – 18 miles east of Borodyanka. It features a female gymnast wearing a neck brace and waving a ribbon, perched atop a gaping hole in a building.A mural in Kyiv also depicts two children using a metal tank trap as a seesaw.READ MORE: Putin poised to launch massive retaliatory airstrike during G20 summitBanksy rose to fame in the 1990s painting a series of murals around Bristol, in the UK.However, his art can now be found around the world, including in Paris, New York and the West Bank in Palestine.He now has a massive global fanbase.Ukrainian investigators found dozens of mass graves in Borodyanka.When it was liberated in April, BBC News international editor Jeremy Bowen said the shelling was the worst he had seen in Ukraine at the time.

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