The Ukrainian sailor who told a Russian warship to “go f–k yourself” as he helped try to defend Snake Island was awarded a government medal in a video posted by Ukraine on Tuesday.
Hero seaman Roman Hrybov received the award “For Merits to Cherkasy Region” from Regional Gov. Ihor Taburets.
Hrybov was one of a handful of sailors manning the defenses of Snake Island in the Black Sea during the early hours of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month.
When Russian naval craft the Valisy Bykov ordered Hrybov and his comrades to surrender, the brave sailor reportedly replied by radio, “Russian warship, go f–k yourself.”
The reply prompted the Valisy Bykov to bombard the island.
Hrybov and the other Snake Island defenders were initially declared dead, until it became clear they’d been captured by Russian forces. His retort became a rallying cry in the early days of the Ukrainian resistance.
The Valisy Bykov was reportedly destroyed two weeks later by Ukrainian forces defending Odessa.
The captured Ukrainian sailors were freed last week in a prisoner swap, and Hrybov’s award ceremony was held soon after.
In an interview with Ukrainian outlet Today, Hrybov’s mother said her son had never bowed to anyone.
“By the way, I have never in my life heard my son swear at me,” Tatiana Hrybov added.