The ship is one of the only two vessels that successfully left the waters around the peninsula at the time, Ukraine Today reports.

Amid immense psychological pressure exerted by the Russian navy, who tried to push Ukrainian naval officers toward treason and switching sides, 3rd rank captain Pavlo Rud, the ship’s commander, did not think for a second which side he wanted to be on, and remained faithful to his oath to the Ukrainian people.

However, he was only one of the few officers remaining faithful to Ukraine in late February, 2014 while many higher naval commanders pledged loyalty to Russia as it occupied Crimea, blocking local military bases and demobilizing warships.

The Russians used their military advantage to take over warships along with their crews. Having rejected the offer to defect, Rud brought his ship to Odesa, which the Russians allowed . 

Today, the captain retains his firm stance, being ready to defend his country both on land and on sea.

See’s video section for more of the latest news from Ukraine in video from Ukraine Today, Ukraine’s 24-hour English-language news channel.