'Denazification' post stamp: Rebels, Ukraine compete with propaganda postage

Pro-Russian separatists have issued a new post stamp entitled "The Decline of Nazism," that supports the "denazification" of Ukraine

 Members of Azov battalion attend a rally on the Volunteer Day honouring fighters, who joined the Ukrainian armed forces during a military conflict in the country's eastern regions, in central Kiev, Ukraine March 14, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS/GLEB GARANICH)
Members of Azov battalion attend a rally on the Volunteer Day honouring fighters, who joined the Ukrainian armed forces during a military conflict in the country's eastern regions, in central Kiev, Ukraine March 14, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/GLEB GARANICH)

Pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine are competing with postage propaganda, as The Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) postal service issued a new stamp and postcard on Tuesday that supports the "denazification" of Ukraine, Russian state media outlet TASS reported.

"Denazification" stamp

The stamp, entitled "The Decline of Nazism," shows the emblem of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi Azov Battalion's logo crossed out, and the Azovstal steel plant in the background, according to TASS.

Azovstal was the last stronghold of Ukrainian forces in the port city of Mariupol, which fell under Russian siege last week.

TASS reported that the stamp also features a prominent letter "Z" — a Russian military distinguishing sign that has become a pro-Russian symbol for the country's invasion of Ukraine. 

"Russian warship, f**k you...!" stamp

The issuing of the pro-Russian "Denazification" stamp come after the success of the "Russian warship, f**k you...!" stamp issued by the Ukrainian postal service Ukrposhta on April 12. The stamp's illustration features an armed and armored Ukrainian soldier with his middle finger raised to the Russian Moskva vessel, a reference to the Snake Island incident early in the war. The background, the yellow ground and blue ocean, evoke the Ukrainian flag.

The "Russian warship, f**k you...!" stamp has effectively been used as a fundraiser by the Ukrainian postal service. Ukrposhta CEO Igor Smelyansky said on Monday that over 800,000 of the stamps had been sold in one day. If the stamps were sold at their value of 69 Ukranian hryvnia ($2.34), then the stamp has yielded more than $1.87 million. Initially, a million were put into circulation. 

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

Smelyansky wrote on Facebook that the Ukrposhta is also selling postcards, envelopes and even T-shirts of the artwork. There is even an Instagram filter. Five percent of the branded clothing sales were being donated to the Ukrainian military, according to Sergei Badritdinov, CEO of INTERTOP, the company producing the items.

“Things like this brand are first and foremost symbols that help us believe in our victory.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

"Things like this brand are first and foremost symbols that help us believe in our victory – that we will definitely win this war, and the occupier will go to the bottom," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday at a ceremony launching the stamp's circulation for international use. "People's interest in these brands is proof of that. I am convinced that we will have many more such symbols of victory."

A collection of the stamps, signed by the Ukrainian serviceman that uttered the now-famous phrase cussing the Moskva, was auctioned off on April 28, raising over $171,000 for the Ukrainian military. 

New stamps for Ukraine

The postage stamp's theme and then art were chosen in online votes. Following the success of the "Russian warship, f**k you...!" stamp, Ukrposhta decided to hold a poll to determine the next military-themed stamp it would produce. The options included Patron the bomb-sniffing dog and the Moskva warship burning.

The defiance of Ukrainian forces at Snake Island, and the subsequent sinking of the Moskva Black Sea Fleet flagship, have become part of the Ukrainian national mythos surrounding the Russia-Ukraine War. 

Patron the bomb-sniffing dog has been credited with detecting more than 200 explosives since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine War. He was awarded a medal on May 8 by Zelensky.