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Home World News Washington Post World News Ukraine sells 700,000 stamps in honor of resistance to sunken Russian flagship...

Ukraine sells 700,000 stamps in honor of resistance to sunken Russian flagship Moskva

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About 700,000 stamps depicting a Ukrainian fighter raising a middle finger for the now-sunken flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet have been sold in about a week, as Ukrainians waited in long lines outside post offices to buy a commemorative coin that has become associated with one of Kiev’s most notable victories during the war.

And in another case, underscoring ongoing defiance as the Russian invasion approaches its ninth week, an art studio in Lviv in western Ukraine is auctioning off a non-fungible token (NFT) based on a mugshot of oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, a friend of Russian President Vladimir. Putin who was recently recaptured by the Ukrainian authorities.

The sinking of the Russian cruiser occurred shortly after Ukraine’s National Postal Service issued 1 million “First Day” stamps, illustrating an interpretation of a February 24 incident on Snake Island, in which Ukrainian border guards reportedly told advancing Moskva with colorful language as Russia launched its invasion.

When news came of the sinking of the Moskva — for which Ukrainian officials claimed responsibility — the stamp quickly became a hot item. Sellers on eBay are charging as much as $2,500 for the stamp, and its value is likely to rise as there are no plans for new releases, said Igor Smelyansky, director of the Ukrainian Postal Service.

“I want to thank once again all the tens of thousands of people who came to us in Kiev and other cities to buy our ‘ship’ seal,” Smelyansky wrote on Facebook on Wednesday. “Not without flaws, but we did our best to make sure most people got it.”

The postal operator may soon be selling other memorabilia, such as T-shirts with the image, he added.

Ukrainians formed long lines outside a post office in Kiev on April 14 to buy stamps from a Ukrainian border guard who showed his middle finger to a Russian warship. (Video: Julie Yoon/The Washington Post)

Even Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been promoting the commemorative stamp and an envelope with the same image on social media. He mocked the damaged ship and told people who used the stamps to remember that the Moskva “always travels only in one direction” – downwards.

Who is Viktor Medvedchuk, the pro-Russian mogul arrested in Ukraine?

Images of the confused and enthralled Mogul Medvedchuk have also been circulating widely since his recapture. According to Kiev, Medvedchuk, who has been accused of treason, escaped house arrest shortly after the invasion.

Artists at the M81 Studio have transformed a post-capture photo of Medvedchuk into what they called “Warhol-style” pop art. Proceeds from the sale of the “Kremlin agent Medvedchuk for sale” NFT — the highest bid was $1,548 early Thursday — will be used to support Ukraine’s defense efforts, the studio said.

“We are used to Medvedchuk being corrupt, but in the end he is sold in favor of Ukraine, not for his own enrichment,” it added.

Bertrand Malmendier, a member of Medvedchuk’s legal team, said in an email to The Washington Post that the oligarch is undergoing political persecution in Ukraine and is being used as “a scapegoat for the war.” The lawyer added that his team is concerned for Medvedchuk’s well-being and has written to Ukrainian authorities demanding entry.

Peter Bejger and Irynka Hromotska contributed to this report





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