Friday 24 February 2023

2257. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ First Anniversary of Putin’s Invasion Of Ukraine. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ


Russian invasion of Ukraine - 1st anniversary.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 24 February 2023 marks the first anniversary of the illegal and vicious invasion of Ukraine by the armed forces of its neighbour Russia under orders from the kleptocratic Russian tyrant Putin, During the past twelve months thousands of innocent Ukrainian citizens have been killed, injured or lost their homes and possessions as a result of the criminal invasion but the brave Ukrainian people and their valiant armed forces have fought back to regain some of their national territory and inflicted numerous humiliating defeats on the Russian invaders. Putin has poured enormous numbers of young troops into the attack and used them as canon fodder with the resulting deaths of tens of thousands of the young Russian invaders. Life comes cheap to tyrants.

  In the past year a number of countries’ postal services have released postage stamps to show their support for the Ukrainian people in their fight to survive -  including Canada, Poland, Luxembourg, France, Lithuania, Austria, Latvia and Estonia. Sadly most Commonwealth postal services have not wished to issue stamps supporting the Ukrainian fight for freedom. Royal Mail also has not answered the call to support Ukraine with a stamp issue, rather it has preferred to release products such as these - 

  Those responsible for Royal Mail’s new issue programme must be very proud.

  The Ukrainian postal service has issued a number of stamps in the past few months mocking the Russians and commemorating some of the remarkable successes the Ukrainian forces have had against the really rather pathetic Russian armed forces. Subjects have included the sinking of the flagship of the Russian naval fleet, the destruction of a bridge which was opened by Putin in recent years to link the illegally occupied Crimea with Russia and a heroic Ukrainian dog who helped to sniff out Russian mines laid to maim and kill Ukrainian troops and civilians. A new stamp was issued on 24 February 2023 which is titled the Ukrainian equivalent of ‘FCK PTN’ and which is sold in a sheet of six.The stamp depicts a work by the British artist Banksy who painted it on a wall in the city of Borodyanka, mercilessly destroyed by the Russian invaders, while he was visiting the country. The art is a picture of a small boy tossing an adult man on to the ground, both of them dressed in judo clothing - Putin is known to be a great judo enthusiast so the significance of the subject of the work is not hard to work out. The first day cover issued along with the sheetlet depicts Banksy’s art work in situ

  After his visit to Borodyanka, Banksy confirmed that he had produced seven works during his visit to Ukraine; one of them depicted a young female gymnast doing a handstand amidst the debris in Borodyanka and others included a girl standing on rubble waving a streamer, a boy and a girl, an older woman wearing a gas mask and holding a fire extinguisher while standing next to a burnt out house and an old man with a long white beard taking a bath in the ruins of a destroyed home.

  I think that this Ukrainian stamp is the first issue to ever depict a work of art by Banksy and therefore for collectors of art on stamps it is an item of great interest particularly given the context of its issue. 

  Perhaps, even now, those who select Royal Mail stamp subjects and designs might show RM’s support for the Ukrainian people in their cause for freedom and peace in the face of the forces of a monstrous tyrant by issuing a stamp just as Canada Post has previously done but it’s unlikely given that there’s a more than full new issue programme this year with the necessity to issue more stamps on the subject of Harry Potter (a surprising issue in itself given the contempt in which the writer of the novels is now held by some because of her views on gender identity), Warhammer and Marvel Comics cartoon characters and other adolescent rubbish.

  No matter, Ukraine enters the second year of its fight for survival with a stamp issue that pokes fun at the creature which has caused it so much suffering and once more brings us another very interesting stamp to be be added to the stamp album - FCK PTN.

  The United Nations General Assembly held a debate on 23 February 2023 to call for the immediate withdrawal without conditions of Russian forces currently inside the borders of Ukraine. The motion was passed by 141 member states in favour with just 7 against (the pariah states of Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Nicaragua, Syria and Mali). Sadly a number of Commonwealth states failed to support Ukraine and abstained in the vote - Bangladesh, India, Mozambique, Namibia, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda and the two newest members, Gabon and Togo, and more chose to absent themselves from the vote - Cameroon, eSwatini, Dominica, Grenada and the United Republic of Tanzania. Still it is pleasing that most Commonwealth territories support the freedom of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.

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