Dezeen Magazine

A stamp featuring Banksy artwork

Ukraine issues postage stamp featuring "prophetic" Banksy artwork

The Ukrainian postal service Ukrposhta has released a stamp featuring an image by British artist Banksy and the words FCK PTN! to mark one year since the start of the war in Ukraine.

A year on from Russia's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, the national postal service has issued a stamp called FCK PTN!, which depicts a boy winning a judo fight against a grown man.

The artwork, which is an allegory of Ukraine defeating Russia by "pinning it to the mat", was originally drawn by Banksy on the wall of a destroyed house in Borodyanka.

The stamps feature the words FCK PTN! in Cyrillic lettering – the alphabet used by Slavic-speaking people – in the bottom left corner.

A sheet of Ukrainian postal stamps
Ukrposhta has released a stamp featuring a Banksy mural

"We believe that the Ukrainian postage stamp 'FCK PTN!' will also become prophetic," said Ukrposhta director general Igor Smelyanskyi.

"When our team was working on the design of the stamp for the anniversary of the full-scale war with Russia, we wanted the drawing to reflect the feelings of all Ukrainians - the desire to defeat the enemy and finally put him "on the ground," he told Dezeen.

Banksy mural pokes fun at Vladimir Putin

According to Ukrposhta, the anonymous artist Banksy travelled to Borodyanka in the autumn of 2022 and graffitied a number of buildings in the town, which had been destroyed by Russian shelling in the spring of 2022.

After the town was seized, Ukrainian officials accused the Russians of committing mass war crimes there.

The image used on the stamp references Russian president Vladimir Putin's love of judo. He is known to be a black belt in the martial art form.

A mural by Banksy
The image is an allegory of Ukraine defeating Russia

"Banksy's drawing, which the artist left on the ruins of the building in Borodyanka, speaks not only of the world's support for Ukraine but also of faith in our victory," said Smelyanskyi.

"At the very beginning of the great war, we issued the stamp 'Russian warship, go!' and in the last days of the first year of the war – 'FCK PTN!,'"  he added. "Given that Ukrposhta's stamps are prophetic, the choice was unquestionable."

The first stamp sheets were unveiled at the main post office in Kyiv. Each stamp can be used to send a letter weighing up to 50 grams within the country.

In total, Ukrposhta has released 250,000 sheets of six stamps. An envelope, postcard, folder, frame and hoodie have also been released in conjunction with the stamp. A percentage of each sale will be donated to educational institutions affected by the war.

Stamp follows Crimean bridge-attack stamp

The stamp is not the first stamp that Ukrposhta has issued in response to the war. In October, it released a Titanic-themed stamp designed by Ukrainian painter Yuriy Shapoval to mark an explosion on the bridge connecting Crimea and Russia.

The war in Ukraine has prompted a number of responses from designers and artists, who showed their solidarity with Ukraine by sharing designs on social media.

Other designers have responded by selling prints to raise funds to help those affected and launching auctions on Instagram.

Banksy is known for his politically charged works. Among them are a mural that pokes fun at Brexit and a sketch for a slavery memorial.

The image is courtesy of Shutterstock.