Picture of Putin popping Ukraine balloon isn’t a Banksy

22 March 2022
What was claimed

A picture of Putin holding a needle to a Ukraine balloon and exploding was created by the artist Banksy.

Our verdict

A spokesperson for the artist confirmed Banksy had nothing to do with the picture.

A post on Facebook falsely claims that a set of two pictures of Russian president Vladimir Putin—one in which he is seen holding a pin to a balloon in Ukrainian colours, and another which shows him exploding—were created by the elusive street artist Banksy. 

The picture, captioned “Latest from Banksy”, has been shared more than 167,000 times, but a spokesperson for the artist confirmed to Full Fact that Banksy was not the creator of the picture.

As pointed out in the comments of the post, the two pictures actually derive from a music video for the song GO BANANAS by the Russian band Little Big, who represented the country at Eurovision in 2020. The original version does not feature Mr Putin. In the original video, it is a member of the band who pops the balloon and subsequently explodes. 

The balloon pictured in the music video is orange, not the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

Although it is not known who made the altered image shared on Facebook, it is clear that the picture has been edited, especially around Mr Putin’s head and the balloon itself.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because the picture was not created by Banksy.

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