He urged the Russians to “go to hell” – now he’s back

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Published: Today 14.16

Updated: Less than 50 minutes ago

Roman Gribov urges Russian warships to go to hell.

He is then declared dead, hailed as a hero and becomes a postage stamp.

Now he’s back.

February 24 this year, the first trembling hours of the war.

Ukrainian border guard Roman Gribov is with a group of other soldiers on the island of Zmijinyj (“Ormön”), a barren cliff in the Black Sea.

During the night, Russia invaded its homeland and attacked on land, from the air and from the lake. Now two Russian warships are approaching the island. They summon Gribov and his companions and give them two choices: surrender or die.

On it Audio Recording which is then spread, a man believed to be Gribov is heard asking another border guard:

– Now it’s over. Should I tell him to go to hell?

The other agrees, after which Gribov raises his voice:

– Russian warships, to hell with it!

Fear the dead

Then the recording is stopped.

It will be quiet.

A whole world assumes that the men on the island were shot dead during the subsequent bombing. And within a day, President Volodymyr Zelensky named them the heroes of Ukraine – posthumously.

All the while the English version of Gribov’s last words, “Russian warship, go fuck yourself!”, Goes viral and explodes on social media.

fullscreenHere Ukrainian border guard Roman Gribov receives a medal for his efforts from the governor of the city of Cherkasy. Photo: CHERKASY REGIONAL STATE ADMIN

Become a postage stamp

The rallying cry will soon also be displayed on road signs and bumper stickers, demonstration posters and t-shirt prints. The Ukrainian post office even claims it will be a postage stampwhere an artist drew a soldier believed to be Gribov to give the warship the middle finger.

An entire nation rallies behind the dead on Ormön. Their history and martyrdom are based on the fighting morale that outside experts have deemed crucial for Ukraine’s victorious resistance to Russia.

But are men really dead?

Exchange of prisoners

After a few days, the information arrives that they might be alive and kept as Russian prisoners of war.

The exact fate of the soldiers remains unclear for a long time. But now President Zelensky has claimed that some of the men died during the Ormön attack while others survived, reports the Guardian.

And that all survivors this week were allowed to return home, as part of the first major prisoner-of-war exchange that took place during the war.

Receives a medal

Roman Gribov is one of the survivors.

He has now returned to his hometown of Cherkasy, south of Kiev. And on Tuesday he received a medal from the governor for his heroic efforts.

For at least one of the two Russian warships that attacked Ormön, things got worse. Vasil Bykov rumored to have been sunk by the Ukrainian Coast Guard three weeks ago, reports The Times.

full screen Satellite image of Ormön. Photo: APPPublished:

Published: 01 April 2022 at 14.16

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