New Delhi: The Ukrainian David is fighting a brave battle against a richer and mightier Russian Goliath.
And among the bloody chapters of attack and counter-attack that have been written since 24 February, Ukraine has not shied away from celebrating a victory, even if it was more symbolic.
Take the case of soldier Roman Hrybov, whose abusive slur at the crew of a Russian warship – “Go f*** yourself” – was heard around the world and later galvanized the country’s resistance.
Thought to be dead, then captured, and finally released in a prisoner-of-war exchange, Hrybov has been recognised by the Ukrainian government for his bravery.
The guard soldier stood up to Russian aggression on the very first day of the conflict.
Posted on the tiny Snake Island in the Black Sea, Hrybov, faced with surrender to a Russian warship, cursed back, “Russian warship, go f*** yourself”.
Hrybov’s words bolstered the spirit of Ukrainians, and became a rallying call during protests and anti-Russian sloganeering. The cry even appeared on billboards across the country.
Presumed dead along with other guards
Hrybov was one of 13 guards who were defending the island of Zmiinyi, also known as the Snake Island, when the Russians attacked.
Soon after he screamed at them, the Russian forces captured him and his colleagues — but not before his expletive-ridden dissent had been caught on tape.
After his capture, news spread that Hrybov and the other guards were killed by the Russians.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that each guard would be posthumously awarded the title “Hero of Ukraine”.
However, a few days after Zelenskyy’s statement, the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service clarified that all 13 guards, including Hrybov, were alive and being held as prisoners of war.
Later, reports said that Hrybov and the other guards were among the first prisoners of war to be exchanged between the Russians and Ukrainians.
Receiving a medal and applying for trademark
After the swap, Hrybov returned to his home in the Cherkasy region of Ukraine — about 200 km south of the capital Kyiv, in central Ukraine.
He was presented the award by Igor Taburets, the head of Cherkasy’s civil-military administration, the Odessa Journal reported.
On receiving the award, the soldier said, “I want to say a huge thank you to the Ukrainian people for their support. We feel it very much, it inspires us. We have strength, we have truth, together, we will win. Glory to Ukraine!”
Reports suggest that Hrybov is also going to file a trademark over the now-viral shout. He expects a commercial landfall from marketing it via various mediums.
Source: The Print