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Special stamp Crimean Bridge An Encore Performance by Ukrainian postal service Ukrposhta to commemorate Crimean Bridge attack

Ukraine celebrates armed forces' "titanic efforts" with Crimean bridge attack stamp

Ukraine's postal service Ukrposhta has issued a stamp to mark last week's explosion on the bridge connecting Crimea and Russia, which features inside jokes and Titanic movie references.

Designed by Ukrainian painter Yuriy Shapoval, the stamp shows the bridge's distinctive white steel arches peeking out behind clouds of billowing smoke. It will be produced as a limited edition of seven million.

Commemorative stamp showing Titanic scene on Crimean Bridge
Ukrposhta has issued a commemorative stamp for the Crimean Bridge attack

Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility for the 8 October explosion, which caused two sections of the bridge to partially collapse and caused significant damage to the only direct transport link between Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula.

But the stamp was revealed on the very same day as the attack – the day after Russian president Vladimir Putin's birthday.

"Following the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who were the first to congratulate Putin on his 70th birthday by presenting him with a fire show on the Crimean Bridge, Ukrposhta announced its gift to the head of the terrorist state," the Ukrainian postal service said when revealing the special release.

Design draws parallels with sinking of Titanic

The 19-kilometre-long Crimea Bridge, also known as Kerch Bridge, is Europe's longest bridge. It was commissioned by Russia following its illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014 and was opened by Putin himself only four years later.

The twin rail-and-road bridge has become a major supply route for Russian since it invaded Ukraine in February. It is also symbolic of Russia's claim on Crimea.

Set of seven commemorative Ukrainian stamps
The stamps will be available from the start of November

The design of the stamp draws parallels between the attack on this bridge and the sinking of the supposedly "unsinkable" Titanic, in a bid to communicate the significance of the event to international audiences.

This is achieved by integrating a reference to the famous scene in the Titanic movie, where actor Leonardo DiCaprio embraces actress Kate Winslet on the ship's bow. On the stamp, however, the couple is shown perched at the ragged edge of the damaged bridge.

In this way, the design celebrates the "Titanic efforts by our people and our armed forces", Ukrposhta's general director Igor Smelyansky wrote on Telegram.

Ukrainian companies poke fun at Russia

Available from the first half of November, the design also features a number of other tongue-in-cheek details.

Winslet's character is depicted holding a cigarette, in reference to the fact that Ukrainian officials have jokingly blamed explosions throughout Crimea on Russian soldiers being careless with their cigarette butts.

A washing machine is shown falling out of a passenger car as it plummets into the water, in a nod to reports of Russian soldiers stealing washing machines as they looted Ukrainian homes.

And hidden at the very top edge of the design is one of the Bayraktar combat drones that have become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.

Local non-governmental organisation Chesno has turned a similar motif of a stamp showing the burning Crimea Bridge into a huge poster, which was hung outside the Kyiv City Council building for residents to take selfies with.


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A post shared by Рух ЧЕСНО (@chesno_org)

Ukrainian NGO Chesno has created a selfie wall using a similar motif

"You don't have to go to Crimea to take a photo against the background of a burning bridge," the organisation joked on Twitter.

Ukraine's postal service has previously issued a number of other special stamps to commemorate key moments from the ongoing war, including one that visualises the famous quote: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself".

All images are courtesy of Ukrposhta.