Ukrainian mom speaks to Banksy without realizing he’s famous artist

A Ukrainian mother and her young daughter apparently spoke to Banksy as he painted a mural in their war-torn country without realizing they were chatting with the world-famous, incognito artist.

The mom, Yula Patoku, told the Mirror she watched as the notoriously elusive street artist painted the image of a young child dressed in martial arts attire slamming down a man with a black belt.

“I chatted with Banksy, not knowing who he was, as he created this artwork and when he spoke to my daughter she told him she liked it,” the 42-year-old told the outlet.

“She told Banksy she thought it was like a child saving his father from being attacked by a monster – a bit like Ukraine rescuing the world from something evil, like Russia.”

Banksy created the image — one of seven murals he reportedly painted in Ukraine — on the wall of a building destroyed by Russian missiles in Borodianka in the Kyiv region. The mysterious British artist is believed to have done the work in October, months after the area was bombarded.

Patoku said the artwork clearly symbolizes the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the country’s fight against the invaders.

“The image is Ukraine beating Russia for sure but it is different perhaps from a child’s eyes,” she said. “Others see it as the young Ukraine battering the evil terrorism of older Russia.”

A woman stands next to snow covered metal 'hedgehogs' and graffiti by the British street artist Banksy on Maidan Square on November 19, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Banksy is believed to have created 7 murals in the war-torn country, including these metal “hedgehogs” and graffiti.
Getty Images
An artwork made by British street artist Banksy is seen at the bottom of a destroyed building in Irpin, near Kyiv, Ukraine
Banksy painted his murals on many buildings destroyed by Russian airstrikes.


Local residents stand in front of a picture by graffiti artist Banksy on the wall of a damaged during Russian attacks residential building, on February 1.
Local officials have protected some of the murals.
Getty Images


Local officials have erected a plastic barrier to protect the artwork as its symbolic imagery has become a message of hope for residents.

“I love this artwork. For me it is youthful and potent, defiant Ukraine fighting and winning against the monster of Russia – or President Zelensky beating Putin in a fight,” Patoku’s sister Oksana Koronik told the Mirror.

The piece is reportedly secured with motion sensors that will alert a “rapid response team” if any person gets to close to it.

“It will be here forever as a reminder of how we stood up to Putin,” Koronik said.

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