'Russian warship, f**k you!' stamp auction raises $171k. for Ukrainian forces

"Sold: Five million hryvnias (~USD 170k.) have been transferred to the Armed Forces of Ukraine," Ukraine wrote on its Twitter account announcing the auction's result.

Russian missile cruiser Moskva is moored in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Ukraine, May 10, 2013. (photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER/FILE PHOTO)
Russian missile cruiser Moskva is moored in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Ukraine, May 10, 2013.
(photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER/FILE PHOTO)

A "Russian warship, F**k you!" stamp collection was auctioned off last Thursday, raising over $171,000 for the Ukrainian military, the official Ukraine Twitter account announced.

"Sold: Five million hryvnias (~USD 170k.) have been transferred to the Armed Forces of Ukraine," it said reporting the result of the auction.

According to the auction platform, the winning bid was by Luiz Perez.

The Ukrainian account assured that new lots would eventually open.

"Russian warship actually went and f***ed itself as recommended," wrote the official Ukraine account when it announced the auction on April 19, referring to the 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."

 Snake Island (illustrative). (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Snake Island (illustrative). (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

In addition to the signature of the Ukrainian marine Roman Gribov who cussed at the now sunken Moskva, the collection also featured the signature of the general director of Ukraine's postal service Ukrposhta, Igor Smilyansky.

The stamp, which was introduced into circulation by Ukrposhta on April 12, features an illustration of 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. The stamp was developed in a competion held for artists.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posed with a book of the new stamps on April 13 and wrote that the phrase, "which became a symbol of the steadfastness of Ukrainian defenders, is now on postage stamps."

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 the Russian warship Moskva, after having been asked to surrender. 

Initially, the Ukrainians announced that the 13 servicemen had been killed in action, fighting to the end. The recording and story went viral in Ukraine and abroad, and became a phrase and symbol for the besieged country'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. 

The Russian Black Sea Fleet flagship Moskva sank in early April after being seriously damaged following an explosion that a Ukrainian official said was the result of a missile strike. The ship has since been designated a Ukrainian underwater heritage site.