The Ukrainian sailor who told a Russian warship to fool himself while trying to defend Snake Island has been awarded a government medal in a video posted by Ukraine on Tuesday.
The seafaring hero Roman Hrybov received the award “For services to the Cherkassy region” from the regional governor Ihor Taburets.
Hrybov was one of a handful of seamen manning the defenses of Snake Island in the Black Sea in the early hours of last month’s Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Roman Hrybov, the Ukrainian sailor on Snake Island who told a Russian warship to screw himself, received a medal for his service. Cherkasy Regional Military Administration/Handout via REUTERS
Hrybov received a medal “For services to the Cherkassy region” from the regional governor Ihor Taburets.YouTube
Hrybov and other sailors were initially pronounced dead and then captured by the Russian military.YouTube
When the Russian naval ship Valisy ordered Bykov Hrybov and his comrades to surrender, the brave sailor reportedly responded by radio: “Russian warship, get yourself ready.”
The response prompted the Valisy Bykov to bombard the island.
Hrybov and the other Snake Island defenders were initially presumed dead until it became clear that they had been captured by Russian forces. His reply became a rallying cry in the early days of the Ukrainian resistance.
The Russian naval ship Valisy Bykov had urged the Ukrainian sailors to surrender in the early days of the invasion. Alexander Demianchuk/TASS via ZUMA Press
The Russians bombed the Black Sea island after Hrybov’s explicit message.Facebook / Armed Forces of Ukraine
The Ukrainian soldiers arrive from Snake Island after their capture. Photo: Russian Defense Ministry TASS via Getty Images
The Valisy Bykov was reportedly destroyed two weeks later by Ukrainian forces defending Odessa.
The captured Ukrainian sailors were freed in a prisoner exchange last week, shortly after which Hrybov’s awards ceremony took place.
In an interview with the Ukrainian outlet Today, Hrybov’s mother said her son had never bowed to anyone.
“By the way, I’ve never heard my son scold me in my life,” added Tatiana Hrybov.