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Why Ukrainians are waiting in line for hours to buy this stamp

KYIV, Ukraine -

Hundreds of Ukrainians are lining up to get their hands on a new collector's item — a stamp commemorating the moment when a soldier purportedly told off a now-sunken Russian warship.

Residents in Ukraine's capital Kyiv lined up Monday at the city's central post office, in some cases for more than six hours, to get a copy of the stamp depicting the infamous Snake Island incident in which a soldier is said to have told the Russians to **** off.

The stamp, as well as an envelope, shows an illustration of a Ukrainian soldier, with a middle finger raised and pointed at the Russian warship, the Moskva.

Some waiting in line in Kyiv told CTV National News London Bureau Correspondent Daniele Hamamdjian that they would like to frame the stamp in their home, with some collectors excited to get a copy for themselves.

"I think it's a great opportunity to maybe get some part of our history, because it is a really great moment to destroy the Russian craft, and I think that every Ukrainian feel some [pride]," said one young man, who waited more than two hours to get his own stamp.

During the early days of Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the Moskva reportedly called on Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island in the Black Sea to surrender.

A recording of the exchange circulated at the time includes a soldier responding, "Russian warship, go (expletive) yourself."

Although initial reports suggested that the Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island had all been killed, they were later found to be alive.

As of April 14, The Associated Press said it could not independently verify the incident.

As for the Moskva, Russian officials acknowledged last week that the ship sank, blaming a fire on board. However, Ukrainian officials say their forces hit the vessel with missiles.

On April 12, Ukraine's national postal service, Ukrposhta, announced it had put the stamp into circulation, with one million issued along with 20,000 envelopes.

Roman Grybov, the Ukrainian marine who reportedly uttered the famous phrase, is seen in a post on Ukrposhta's Facebook page commemorating the stamp's release in Kyiv.

The person who designed the sketch used for the stamp, Boris Groh, also took part in a ceremony in Lviv, Ukrposhta said. The postal service said Groh lived in the Crimean city of Yevpatoria but was forced to move to Lviv after Russia's annexation of the peninsula in 2014.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also has been pictured with copies of the stamp and envelope.

On April 15, the postal service quipped that for the first time in history, queues for the stamp have become larger than those for the iPhone.

With nearly half a million stamps sold as of Monday, Ukrposhta announced it would limit purchases to no more than six stamps and cancel online orders, in order to get stamps to as many people as possible and reduce speculative bidding on sites such as Ebay. Some envelopes with a stamp are being sold on the site for well over US$1,000.

With files from The Associated Press and CNN


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