A "Russian warship, go...!" stamp collection signed by the Ukrainian marine that uttered the phrase will be auctioned off on Friday by Ukraine's Ukrposhta national postal service.
A unique auction
"Russian warship actually went and f***ed itself as recommended," wrote the official Ukraine Twitter account, referring to the recent sinking of the ship that seized Snake Island, and was the subject of the now-famous phrase. "Ukrposhta dedicated a famous postal stamp to this historic phrase. Now a complete set with envelopes signed by the phrase’s author is up for auction."
The auction will be held on Friday at 2 p.m. Kyiv time, and registration is open until Thursday evening.
In addition to the signature of the Ukrainian marine Roman Gribov who cussed at the now sunken Moskva, the collection will also feature the signature of the general director of Ukrposhta, Igor Smilyansky.
"The lot is unique in that it contains a complete set of products produced by Ukrposhta within this theme," said the auction page.
Russian warship actually went and f***ed itself as recommended.@ukrposhta dedicated a famous postal stamp to this historic phrase. Now a complete set with envelopes signed by the phrase’s author is up for auction.To take part, apply until April 21st: https://t.co/nkTSrHou7a pic.twitter.com/7OnQEjORfK— Ukraine / Україна (@Ukraine) April 19, 2022
The "Russian warship, f***k you...!" postage stamp
The "Russian warship, f***k you...!" postage stamp was introduced into circulation by Ukrposhta on April 12, and features an illustration of s an armed and armored Ukrainian soldier with his middle finger raised to a Russian vessel. The background, the yellow ground and blue ocean, evoke the Ukrainian flag.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posed with a stamp book of the new stamps last Wednesday, and wrote that the phrase, "which became a symbol of the steadfastness of Ukrainian defenders, is now on postage stamps."
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Origin of the phrase
"Russian warship, f***k you...!" was the response to demands to surrender given to Russian naval forces by Ukrainian border guards stationed on Snake Island early in the war.
The Snake Island incident occurred on the second day of the war, February 25, at a Black Sea island south of Odesa. The small Ukrainian force of 13 stationed there was recorded cursing at a Russian warship, the Moskva, after having been asked to surrender.
Initially, the Ukrainians announced that the 13 servicemen were killed in action, fighting to the end. The recording and story went viral in Ukraine and abroad, and became a phrase and symbol for Ukraine's fight against Russia.
However, on February 27 it was announced by the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service that the servicemen could still be alive. Their capture was confirmed by the Ukrainian navy on February 28, drawing criticism for the propagandizing of a false narrative about a heroic last stand.
Grybov was released from Russian captivity on March 28 and was rewarded with a medal. It is unclear what the conditions for his release were, and what the status is of the other captives.
The Russian Black Sea Fleet flagship Moskva sank last Thursday after being seriously damaged following an explosion that a Ukrainian official said was the result of a missile strike.
Ukrposhta announced a competition for the development of the stamp on March 1, which according to the postal service is the "30th anniversary of the modern Ukrainian stamp." Entrants were asked to submit sketches, which were voted for on Facebook starting on March 8.
The winning sketch was by professional artist Boris Groh of Lviv, who according to Ukrposhta was a former resident of Yevpatoria, Crimea, which was invaded by Russia in 2014.
"The phrase that inspired us to create the postage stamp has already become a symbol of the indomitability of the AFU, the volunteers, the territorial defense, all Ukrainians in the fight for their land and the independence of Ukraine," said Igor Smelyansky, General Director of Ukrposhta. "I am sure that Ukrainians and our friends from abroad will be pleased to receive letters with such a postage stamp. And today in this postal way we once again remind the invaders that they should immediately get off our land and follow their ship."