Update: The personnel on the island were subsequently reported to be still alive. The information regarding the personnel's status were released by Ukraine and Russia. Full details here.
An audio recording of an exchange between Ukrainian border guards on Zmiinyi Island (or Snake Island) in the Black Sea and a Russian warship has emerged online.
The audio clip was obtained and published by Ukrainian news outlet Ukrayinska Pravda on Friday (Feb. 25, 2022).
Here's a translation of the audio, as reported by CNN:
Russian officer: "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."
Ukrainian border guard: "Russian warship, go f*ck yourself."
All 13 guards killed
According to Reuters, a total of 13 border guards were on the island when a Russian vessel approached them.
A group of Ukrainian border guards were stationed on Snake Island, in the Black Sea south of Odessa, when a Russian warship ordered them to surrender under threat of attack.— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) February 25, 2022
Their response: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself."
They held their ground. All 13 were killed. pic.twitter.com/GMRsXQRSX0
According to another audio clip obtained by WTOP editor Alejandro Alvarez, the guards seemed to realise they would be facing fatal consequences, saying "this is it" and discussing "should I tell him to go f*ck himself" before turning up the volume and relaying the defiant message.
Zelensky said that he will issue posthumous honours to the guards who refused to surrender to the Russian warship.
He added, according to Business Insider, that all of the guards "did not give up" and "died heroically".
Unverified livestream video
Screen-recorded footage of a livestream video allegedly taken by one of the guards on the island has also circulated online, although its authenticity has not been confirmed.
The footage purportedly showed the moment the Russian warship attacked the island.
Ukrainian soldier deployed on Snake Island live streamed the moment a Russian warship opened fire on the Island.— C O U P S U R E (@COUPSURE) February 24, 2022
13 soldiers died in the attack. pic.twitter.com/FDe92rYYVR
Follow and listen to our podcast here:
Top image via Українська правда/YouTube.