STORY: The group of eight managed to slice off a section of board and plaster bearing the image of a woman in a gas mask and dressing gown, holding a fire extinguisher, on the side of a scorched building in the city of Hostomel, according to the Kyiv regional governor.
A local resident, who gave her name only as Alyona, told Reuters the people said Banksy had agreed for them to take it when she confronted them.
"They said they had decided it with him. And we asked them, 'Nobody has ever seen him! How could you decide that with him?'" Alyona said.
The Kyiv region national police chief, Andrii Nebytov, said the mural was retrieved intact and now under police protection, adding that experts would determine the value of the object before authorities decide on what action to take next.
Banksy, whose work can sell for millions of dollars on the art market, confirmed he had painted the mural and six others last month, in places that were badly affected by heavy fighting after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.