The sinking of Russian guided-missile cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea comes days after Ukraine issued a stamp immortalizing the famous exchange on Snake Island between Russian and Ukrainian forces.
A Ukrainian presidential adviser confirmed on Thursday the Moskva was one of the vessels involved in the exchange in February.
The stamp: Ukrposhta, Ukraine’s postal service, announced on Tuesday it had issued a postage stamp with the slogan. It shows a Ukrainian solider standing defiant, facing down a Russian warship in open water.
Roman Hrybov — the Ukrainian soldier who uttered the phrase — was invited to the ceremony unveiling the stamp, the service said in a statement.
Some context: It was initially believed the Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a subsequent attack, but were instead forced to surrender “due to the lack of ammunition,” according to the Ukrainian navy. Hrybov was later released as part of a prisoner exchange.
The phrase has become a popular Ukrainian slogan during the invasion and used as a symbol of defiance.
“There would be neither postage stamp nor such strong resistance as exemplified by soldiers from Zmiinyi Island (Snake Island) without him,” the statement read.
The warship: Conflicting accounts have emerged over the sinking of the warship, which was reported Thursday by Russian state news agency TASS.
Ukraine’s Operational Command South claimed Thursday that the Moskva had begun to sink after it was hit by Neptune anti-ship missiles.
Russia claimed a fire broke out, causing munitions aboard to explode, inflicting serious damage to the vessel and forcing its crew to be evacuated.
CNN has not been able to independently verify what caused the damage to the ship.