The Ukrainian soldier who won the hearts of people around the world when he told a Russian warship to “Go f— yourself” has been awarded a military medal.
The award was presented to border guard Roman Hrybov on Tuesday for services to the Cherkasy region, according to Cherkasy Regional State Administration.
Hrybov was one of 13 soldiers defending tiny Snake Island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, in the Black Sea during Russia’s multi-pronged invasion. Hrybov and his fellow soldiers were though to have been killed in the February 24 attack on the island.
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In a clip verified by Ukrainian officials, a Russian soldier on-board an approaching warship warned the Snake Island guards of the incoming invasion: “This is a military warship. This is a Russian military warship. I suggest you lay down your weapons and surrender to avoid bloodshed and needless casualties. Otherwise, you will be bombed.”
Two Ukrainian guards are heard speaking between themselves before one of them, reportedly Hrybov, responded “Russian warship, go f— yourself.”
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The phrase has since become a motto and rallying cry of sorts for Ukrainian people, with the slogan seen on traffic signs and billboards across the war-torn nation.
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Four days after the Russian warship invaded Snake Island (and after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed the death of the soldiers in his address to the nation), Hrybov and the other soldiers were found to have survived and taken captive by Russian forces, the Ukrainian Navy reported.
Hrybov was presented his award March 29 after returning from captivity, the Cherkasy Regional State Administration wrote.
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Cherkasy region Governor Igor Taburets presented the award to Hrybov.
“The Cherkasy resident, together with his brothers, demonstrated to the whole world the firmness and strength of the Ukrainian spirit, our indestructibility,” said Taburets.
Hrybov was also memorialized in a new stamp design released by the Ukrainian Postal Service, depicting a lone Ukrainian soldier giving a distant warship the middle finger.
Ukrposhta announced the winning design after holding a public vote on social media for a postage stamp competition.
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