According to information from Kyiv, Ukrainian soldiers from Snake Island in the Black Sea are in Russian captivity. “We are very happy to know that our comrades-in-arms are alive and that everything is fine with them,” the Ukrainian fleet said on Facebook on Monday.
The Ukrainians surrendered after running out of ammunition. Russia destroyed the entire infrastructure of the island in front of the Danube Delta.
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Contact was lost to soldiers on the island on Saturday. Kyiv assumed the death of all thirteen Ukrainians. However, the Russian army later displayed photos of the prisoners upon their arrival in Sevastopol in the Crimea.
In his speech after the first day of the Russian offensive, President Zelensky first referred to the dead soldiers and honored them with the highest award in the country: “On our island Zmini, which we defended to the end, all border soldiers died heroically. But they did not surrender. All of them were posthumously awarded the title “Hero Ukraine. May the memory of those who gave their lives for Ukraine live forever.
A statement that goes around the world
On Thursday, Russia launched a war against its neighbor Ukraine. According to Ukrainian sources, more than 350 civilians were killed as a result of the fighting.
Shortly before the bombing, a soldier is said to have told a Russian warship to “go for yourself” when they were told to surrender. His video went viral. The proverb can now be seen on many place-name signs and signs in Ukraine.
But Ukrainian officials said on Saturday it was not clear how many border guards were stationed on the island when the bombing began. In a Facebook post, Ukrainian border guards wrote that they may still be alive: “We strongly believe that all Ukrainian defenders of the island of Zhmini may be alive.”
She also said that Russian media reported that they were taken as prisoners to Sevastopol, a Russian-controlled port city in Crimea. The border guards are now working to find out what happened to the soldiers.
“We sincerely hope that the boys return home as soon as possible and that information received about the death at the time of the attack will not be confirmed,” the post read.
On Sunday, the Ukrainian Navy said: “We are very happy to know that our brothers are alive and well!” , according to the Interfax news agency. The defenders of Snake Island repelled the attack of invaders twice. However, due to a lack of ammunition, they were unable to continue defending the island.
More on the Russian attack on Ukraine:
The actions of the guards also drew international attention after the audio recording of the exchange of strikes between Ukrainian and Russian soldiers was published on the website of the Ukrainian news agency Orienska Pravda, the US newspaper The Washington Post reported. In it you can hear the radio message from a Russian warship. This is a Russian warship. I suggest you put your arms up and surrender. Otherwise, I will open fire.”
The Ukrainian soldier replies: “Russian warship, go on your own.” A Ukrainian official confirmed the authenticity of the recording to the Washington Post on Thursday.
The bold resistance of the border guards spread quickly on social media. The cry “Russian warship, go on your own” has become part of some expressions of solidarity with Ukraine and has drawn many comparisons to famous battle cries from previous wars.
Major General Mick Ryan, an Australian officer, likened it to “NUTS!” , a response sent by then-U.S. Army Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe to Nazi forces during the Battle of Bastogne in World War II, asking for the Americans to surrender. “None of us today will ever forget what these servants did there,” Ryan wrote on Twitter.
The Republican senator from Nebraska detailed the brave soldiers in his Twitter bio, changing it to a “Russian warship f**k you”, according to The Guardian.
The Snake Island incident shows how unclear the information from the war zone is. Governments themselves often do not know what happens in individual struggles. However, they certainly have an interest in the spread of accidents. They help portray the bravery of the fighters in legends and raise the morale of the Ukrainians and the troops. In the meantime, one thing is certain: what really happened in this war, in many cases we will not find out until after the war is over. (with dpa)