Ukraine: Soldier on Snake Island sends message to Russian ship
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Trapped on a Black Sea Island known as Snake Island, Roman Gribov, was staring down the barrel of a Russian warship when he shouted a now infamous viral slur. “Russian warship. Go f*** yourself,” he told the approaching enemy ship.
The defiant phrase on February 24 was released on the internet and listened to by millions.
It sparked a surge of patriotism among Ukrainians typifying their defiance in the face of the Russian invasion.
The slogan has appeared on billboards across the country at anti-Russia protests across the world and has even inspired a new Ukrainian stamp.
It was initially claimed the soldiers on Snake Islands had refused to surrender and fought until they were killed, but these reports were later debunked.
Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky even said he would posthumously award them the nation’s top military award.
The 13 soldiers stationed on the island did surrender to the Russian warship and were returned to Ukraine as part of a prisoner swap.
Mr Gribov, a border guard, has reportedly applied to trademark the phrase.
At the medal ceremony the head of the Cherkasy regional administration called Mr Gribov a true “hero”.
After accepting the award Mr Gribov said that he wanted to thank the Ukrainian people.
He said: “I want to say a big thank you to the Ukrainian people for such support.
“We strongly feel this support, it inspires us.”
According to the latest updates from the British Ministry of Defence, strong Ukrainian resistance and a number of setbacks have meant the Russian offensive has “almost certainly” failed in its objective to encircle Kyiv.
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In an update on Twitter, the MoD said: “Russian statements regarding a reduction in activity around Kyiv, and reporting indicating the withdrawal of some Russian units from these areas, may indicate Russia’s acceptance that it has now lost the initiative in the region.
“It is highly likely that Russia will seek to divert combat power from the north to their offensive in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east.”
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