Ukraine Marked Russian Invasion Anniversary With Banksy Stamp

New stamp by Ukrposhta showcases Banksy’s mural artwork – Photo: Dezeen

To commemorate the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Postal Service (Ukrposhta) released a new stamp that features a mural created by the England-based artist Banksy

The tiny but incredibly detailed stamp features a stencil image of a judo match with a young boy flipping a grown man on his back.

The image is a reference to Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, who has a black belt. It also pays homage to the story of David and Goliath, where the seemingly weaker character defeated the giant everyone thought was a guaranteed winner.

In case there’s any confusion about the meaning of the stamp’s image, Ukrposhta also added the phrase “FCK PTN” in Cyrillic lettering.

Banksy released this image in November of last year. The original is located in Borodyanka, an urban settlement outside of Kyiv that the Russian military has heavily attacked.

Destroyed house in Borodyanka village (Kyiv region) adorned with Banksy’s graffiti of a judoka making it to the knockout stage © Banksy, 2022

The stamp bearing Banksy’s mural is one of several limited edition stamps released by Ukrposhta in the last 12 months. The post office released just 250,000, and the Ukrainian people lined up on its release date to show their support.

In a statement released on Facebook, Ukrposhta said that February 24 — the day of the stamp’s release and the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion — felt like “the beginning of a new countdown.”

The post office also declared that no “panic, doubt, or fear” spread among the Ukrainian people. Instead, they share feelings of “pride, togetherness, shared grief, and a goal to achieve.” 

Ukrainian resident Nataliia Hrebeniuk explained to Reuters that the Banksy mural is a perfect symbol of the war. She said that the image of a small boy defeating an adult man is “very representative of the situation.”

Supporters can purchase stamps and merchandise through the post office’s website.