Ukraine issue Banksy postage stamp on first anniversary of war

Ukraine on Friday issued a postage stamp reproducing a mural by British street artist Banksy showing a boy defeating a grown man in judo, to mark the first anniversary of Russia's invasion.

It was painted by Banksy on a demolished wall in the town of Borodianka, northwest of Kyiv, where many buildings were reduced to rubble by Russian aircraft at the start of the invasion, which began a year ago to the day.

The image draws inspiration from Russian President Vladimir Putin, known to be a black belt in judo, and depicts a young judoka representing Ukraine knocking down a grown man.

The phrase "Get lost Putin" has been added to the lower left part of the new stamp, which reproduces the stencil.

A number of Banksy drawings also appeared in Kyiv at the end of 2022.

Residents of the capital flocked to buy the new stamps on Friday, from the main post office on Kyiv's central square, the Maidan.

Among the queuers, Svetlana, a 50-year-old economist, was keen to get her hands on one "because I support the Ukrainian armed forces" and "the stamp is printed at a historic moment", one year after the start, on February 24, 2022, of the Russian invasion.

Also buying the first-day issue, Maxime said she was delighted to see a "first stamp from one of Banksy's works".

"It's a very cool gesture for the world to understand Ukraine, that we remain in the spotlight," the 26-year-old told AFP.