Saturday, May 14, 2022

Go F**K yourself says Ukraine

On February 24, a Russian guided-missile cruiser, the Moskva, asked Ukrainian border guards on Snake Island, south of the port of Odesa, to surrender. Instead of surrendering, the 13 soldiers told the enemy warship "go f*** yourself." The island was hit by Russian missile strikes afterwards but the soldiers survived. This small act of defiance went global.

A Russian missile cruiser "Moskva" anchored near Mumbai, India, May 21, 2003. 

The Moskva was subsequently sunk with Ukraine's Operational Command claiming that it was hit by Neptune anti-ship missiles. Russia claimed a fire broke out causing ammunition aboard to explode, inflicting serious damage to the vessel and forcing its crew to be evacuated. The Moskva was a very large ship (over 13,000 tons), 186 meters long, capable of coordinating operations and commanding several other ships at the same time. Hence its name of "flagship." It was commissioned in the Soviet Union in 1983 and was apparently built in the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv!

Ukrainian post wanted to take advantage of this and world sympathy and commissioned a stamp issue. A shortlist of 50 designs were put to a vote and the winning stamp was designed by Lviv-based artist Boris Groh and was issued in two values:
F = Registered Letter within Ukraine and W = Overseas letter up to 50 grams.

The stamps show a Ukrainian soldier giving the finger to the Russian cruiser Moskva. On the sheet’s selvedge is the phrase that has become a rallying slogan for Ukrainians in their underdog battle against Moscow: “Russian warship, go …!” Roman Grybov, who apparently uttered the phrase attended the dedication ceremony. He received a medal for his defiance.

Initially only a million stamps were issued and there was a huge buying frenzy, sometimes the stamp going for as high as thousands of dollars on eBay. Ukraine post then limited sales to a sheet per person. One person reported: "I ordered 3 (last 3 he had listed) on eBay from a small dealer in Ukraine. Says profits will go to local hospital." I wonder...

I have seen a single stamp available for only $29 on eBay, if anyone wants to buy. 

1 comment:

  1. thank you very much! very interesting (:
    and yes, In Mykolaiv was one of the biggest shipyards during the soviet times.
    and some great people came from there
    such as Lubavitcher rebbe
    and me :D