Ukraine has chosen the image of a new postage stamp titled “Russian warship, fuck you!”, while the country besieged by Vladimir Putin continues to try to keep morale high and win the battle against the invading forces.
The country’s first deputy foreign minister, Emine Dzheppar, announced the stamp commemorating the Snake Island incident, in which 13 border guards were stationed on a roughly 16-hectare rocky island some 300 km west of Crimea resisted heroically to the Russian offensive.
The picture reflects the dramatic and brief radio dialogue that was recorded while Ukrainian soldiers defended the island in the Odessa region. There, a Kremlin warship communicates with those stationed on the small island land asking them to surrender. In the message, an invading sailor told the Ukrainian military: “This is a Russian military warship. I suggest you lay down your arms and surrender to avoid unnecessary bloodshed and casualties. Otherwise, they will be bombed.”
However, the Ukrainian troops defiantly refused to leave the territory, replying: “Russian warship, fuck you!” Minutes later, artillery fire began.
The phrase has become a rallying cry for Ukrainians. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in fact, announced that he would award these soldiers, posthumously, the decoration of Heroes of Ukraine, although it was later reported that, in fact, they might still be alive.
The postage stamp, an illustration by artist Boris Groh, is a tribute to that episode and received the most votes in a contest organized by the Ukrainian postal service, Dzheppar explained.
Ukrainians, civilians and military, have shown their courage and patriotism in these two weeks of the invasion. Hundreds of thousands have joined the Army and many more volunteer to support those who fight.
Zelenskyy himself has been a ubiquitous presence on social media with a live video showing that he has not fled and remains in Kyiv.
Whenever he can, he calls for resistance, courage and also for peace. He says he is willing to talk at any time… On the other side of the border, Putin calls him a drug addict and a Nazi, just him who lost his family in the Holocaust, just him who is Jewish.
Tired, with red eyes and dressed in military clothes, the president resists stoically in the Government Palace in Kyiv. He receives the press, does not have an entourage of sycophants and greets each journalist who interviews him with a handshake so that the horror of war is known throughout the world.
In his last appearance, the president directly questioned Russian mothers. “I want to say once again to Russian mothers. Particularly the mothers of the recruits. Don’t send your children to war in a foreign country. Check where your children are. And if you have the slightest suspicion that your children may have been sent to war against Ukraine, act immediately “to prevent him from being killed or captured,” he said.
“Ukraine has never wanted this terrible war. And Ukraine does not want it. But she will defend herself as much as it takes,” she added.