Ukraine's Banksy stamps feature art of Putin in judo match

a recently released Ukrainian postage stamp with artwork by British graffiti artist Banksy. Image: 2023 February 25

Ukraine has released postage stamps with a mural by renowned UK graffiti artist Banksy to commemorate the first anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion.

The mural shows a man who resembles Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, being flipped during a judo match with a young boy.

In the town of Borodyanka, close to the capital Kyiv, the original artwork was on a home that was completely destroyed by Russian shelling.

The bottom left corner of the stamps now includes a sentence with an abbreviated expletive directed at the Russian president.

Mr. Putin is a fan of the martial art and a black belt in judo.

In the eyes of many Ukrainians, Banksy's mural serves as a metaphor for Ukraine's fierce resistance to the Russian invasion, which got under way on February 24, 2022.

On Friday, lines were seen in Kyiv as people swarmed the Golovpostamt, the city's main post office, to purchase the new stamps.

Maxime, 26, told the AFP news agency that keeping Ukraine in the spotlight was "a very cool gesture for the world to understand Ukraine.".

A "first stamp from one of Banksy's works," she continued, "delighted me.".

Several Ukrainian towns that have been among the worst affected by the ongoing war have seen Banksy's artwork displayed on buildings there.

Russian troops took control of Borodyanka early on in the invasion. Ukrainian authorities charged the Russians with committing widespread war crimes there after the town was retaken in the spring.

This came after mass graves containing hundreds of civilian bodies from Ukraine were found nearby. Some of them appeared to have been shot at close range and had their hands tied.

Russia asserts that Ukraine staged the events and denies that it killed any civilians.

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