A postage stamp has been very successful in Ukraine, with almost half a million copies sold in just 5 days. The stamp has the image of a Ukrainian soldier giving the middle finger to the battleship Moskva, the main one of the Russian fleet, which sank last Thursday (14) in the Black Sea.
According to the Pravda website, the hype around the seal was so much that some people began to resell it for a price much higher than recommended — collectors have faced queues at agencies to get one. After selling out in many post offices, copies have appeared for resale on various websites for prices that can reach 100 euros (R$ 508).
“We wanted to print more, but last night’s bombing in Kiev affected the factory’s work and we were unable to print the necessary amount,” Igor Smelyansky, the general director of Ukrposhta, the country’s postal company, told AFP.
Ukrposhta said that from now on people will not be able to buy more than 5 sheets of stamps — each sheet contains six stamps. The agency also canceled the application for stamps via the internet.
“We already have ideas and are preparing new editions, but for now we ask you to keep a cool head when buying stamps with the ship. Let them reach as many people as possible”, he says in a Facebook post.
The post also features a montage with the SpongeBob character welcoming thousands of people to his home and selling the famous stamp.
But what is the history of the seal?
The stamp was launched in mid-March, but only went into circulation in April, with one million units.
The image became very famous in the country because it was related to the soldiers’ resistance against the Russian army.
The stamp commemorates a group of Ukrainian soldiers from a military garrison on the Isle of Serpents in the Black Sea who refused to surrender to the Russians in the early days of the conflict.
At the time, the soldiers, surrounded by Russian ships, including the Moskva, responded to Russian ultimatums with insults. “Russian ship, f*ck off,” one of the soldiers radioed.
After the incident, the Ukrainian government even disclosed that the soldiers had died in a final attack by the Russians. But the information was later denied and there was confirmation that they had been imprisoned.
Later, the group was released in exchange for some Russian prisoners. During the exchange, Ukrainian soldier Roman Grybov, who would have been responsible for the famous phrase towards the ship Moskva, was released and ended up decorated by the Ukrainian government.
The phrase uttered by the military became a slogan in Ukraine to raise the population’s morale in the face of Russian attacks, becoming a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance.
Shipwreck of the Moskva
Ukraine and Russia give different versions of the sinking of the main ship of the Russian fleet, which marked a significant setback for the country’s fire capability. In service since 1983, the Moskva was the largest warship lost during a conflict since World War II.
The ship’s prestige among the Russian fleet was so great that in 2020 the Russian Orthodox Church, which has close ties to the Kremlin, forwarded to the Moskva an alleged piece of the “Vera Cruz”, the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.
The Russian government says the ship suffered an explosion caused by a fire in a compartment that held ammunition. The Ukrainian government says the ship was destroyed after being hit by a missile attack. (With international agencies)