FACT CHECK: Did Banksy Create This Image About Vladimir Putin And Ukraine?
An image shared on Facebook over 158,000 times purportedly shows artwork from street artist Banksy referencing Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A spokesperson for Banksy confirmed the image was not created by the artist. It was made using content from a Russian music video that does not show Putin or the Ukrainian flag.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a March 23 statement formally accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine during its invasion of the country. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged “the world” to protest against Russia’s military operations in the country, the New York Post reported.
An image shared on Facebook appears to show artwork commenting on the situation in Ukraine. It features two frames, one that shows Putin holding a pin ready to pop a balloon bearing the blue and yellow color scheme of Ukraine’s flag, while the second frame shows the Russian president seemingly being popped while the blue and yellow balloon remains intact.
“Latest from Banksy,” reads the image’s caption. Banksy is the pseudonym of a famous U.K.-based street artist. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A Ukrainian Refugee Attacking Passengers Aboard An Italian Train?)
There is no evidence Banksy created the image. The piece does not appear on the artist’s Instagram or website, where catalogs of authentic Bansky works can be found. A spokesperson for the artist told Full Fact that Bansky was not responsible for the image.
The image appears to be an altered version of a scene from a 2019 music video produced by the Russian band Little Big. At one point in the music video, a man attempts to pop an orange balloon with a needle but he himself appears to burst into shreds when he makes contact with the balloon.