A Ukrainian soldier who defiantly told a Russian warship to “go fuck yourself” before being captured has been awarded a civic medal, his country’s ministry of defense said on Tuesday.
Roman Gribov, a Ukrainian border guard, was told to surrender while defending the tiny Snake Iceland in the Black Sea on the first day of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine in February.
A Ukrainian official at the time said 13 of the border guards had been killed defending the island south of the port of Odessa, on February 24, after losing contact with the garrison, which was targeted by the Russian military in an artillery attack.
In fact, the soldiers did surrender to the Russians and a few weeks later they were returned to Ukraine in a prisoner swap.
In a footage published on Tuesday, Gribov was called a “hero” as he received the award from the head of the Cherkasy regional administration, Reuters reported.
“I want to say a big thank you to the Ukrainian people for such support,” Gribov said. “We strongly feel this support, it inspires us.”