Thirteen Ukrainian border guards who were presumed dead as they defended the country’s Snake Island against a Russian warship and told Russians to “go f— yourself,” are still alive.
According to Ukrainian military officials, the Ukrainian troops on Zmiiniy Island — also known as Snake Island are still alive and have been captured by Russian military forces.
Initial reports said the 13 border guards had died after refusing to surrender Snake Island, which sits 186 miles (300km) west of Crimea, from a Russian air and sea bombardment on Thursday.
“We sincerely hope that the boys will return home as soon as possible, and the information received at the time of the attack on the death will not be confirmed,” the statement reads.
On Monday, Ukraine’s naval Facebook account posted to confirm the report “Regarding the Marines and border guards, who were taken captive by Russian occupiers on the island of Snake, we are very happy to learn that our brothers are alive,” the report said.
An immediate release of the captured border guards was also demanded by Ukraine according to their statement.
“We demand from Russia the immediate release of illegally occupied citizens of Ukraine,” the report added.
It was on Sunday when they first circulated the report and said that Snake Island defenders may still be alive.
The New York Post reported that the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (SBGSU) said that the total of 82 officers from the location may be alive “We [have a] strong belief that all Ukrainian defenders of Zmiinyi (Snake) Island may be alive.”
“Preliminary information that border guards may be dead came before the defenders lost contact,” the report added.
Ukrainian post at Snake Island in the Black Sea told Russian warship to “go fuck yourself” after being told to surrender. The 13 service members were killed pic.twitter.com/2FuKHc04D3
— BNO News (@BNONews) February 24, 2022
CNN also reported:
“According to a purported audio exchange, as the Russians approached Snake Island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, the Russian officer says: ‘This is a military warship. This is a Russian military warship. I suggest you lay down your weapons and surrender to avoid bloodshed and needless casualties. Otherwise, you will be bombed,’”
“A Ukrainian soldier responds: ‘Russian warship, go f*** yourself,’” the report added.
Reuters report also added:
As of early Monday, at least “102 civilians in Ukraine have been killed since Russia launched its invasion last Thursday, with a further 304 injured, but the real figure is feared to be ‘considerably higher.”