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Russia invades Ukraine, the country prepares for a major Donbass offensive

Ihor Smilianskyi, CEO of Ukraine Post, holds the new postage stamp immortalizing the famous exchange on Snake Island between Russian and Ukrainian forces at the Post’s headquarters in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 14. (REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)

The sinking of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea comes days after Ukraine issued a stamp immortalizing the famous exchange on Snake Island between Russian and Ukrainian forces.

A Ukrainian presidential adviser confirmed on Thursday that the Moskva was one of the ships involved in the swap in February.

The island was hit by Russian missile strikes after Ukrainian defenders responded to the threat of Russian invasion with the words: “Russian warship, fuck you”.

The stamp: Ukrposhta, the Ukrainian postal service, announced on Tuesday that it had issued a postage stamp with the slogan. It shows a Ukrainian soldier standing defiantly facing a Russian warship in open water.

Roman Hrybov — the Ukrainian soldier who uttered the phrase — was invited to the stamp unveiling ceremony, the service said in a statement.

A bit of context: The Ukrainian soldiers were initially thought to have been killed in a later attack, but were instead forced to surrender “due to lack of ammunition”, according to the Ukrainian Navy. Hrybov was later released in a prisoner exchange.

The phrase became a popular Ukrainian slogan during the invasion and used as a symbol of defiance.

“There would be no postage stamp or resistance as strong as that exemplified by the soldiers on Zmiinyi Island (Snake Island) without him,” the statement said.

The warship: Conflicting accounts have emerged over the sinking of the warship, which was reported on Thursday by Russian state news agency TASS.

Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command said on Thursday that the Moskva began to sink after being hit by Neptune anti-ship missiles.

Russia claimed a fire broke out, exploding ammunition on board, inflicting severe damage to the ship and forcing its crew to be evacuated.

CNN was unable to independently verify what caused the damage to the vessel.

Learn more about the sinking:

The Russian Navy evacuates the flagship. Ukraine claims to have been hit by a missile


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