UPDATE: The Ukrainian Navy said it has discovered the guards are alive but had been taken captive by Russian soldiers.
A group of Ukrainian guards from an island on the Black Sea told the Russian military to “go fuck yourself” before they were killed on Feb. 24, following Russia launching an invasion of Ukraine.
In an audio recording shared by a Telegram account affiliated with Ukraine’s Interior Minister on Thursday Feb. 24, a Russian navy seaman can be heard ordering the Ukrainian border guards on Snake Island to be surrender or “be bombed,” according to local media.
“This is it,” a Ukrainian guard can then be heard saying. “Should I tell him to go fuck himself?”
“Just in case,” the other replies.
The guards can be heard then turning up the volume before the first guard says, “Russian warship, go fuck yourself.”
All the guards who were defending the outpost were killed, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed in on a video message after midnight Friday Feb. 25.
Zelensky commended the guards for their bravery and heroism. He said the guards will be awarded posthumously the Hero of Ukraine medals.
“May the memory of those who gave their lives for Ukraine live forever,” he said.
The exact number of guards who were killed remains uncertain, but at least 137 people died from Thursday’s attacks, including civilians, military personnel, and the guards, according to Zelensky.
Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on early morning Thursday, launching missiles on cities and military bases.
Ukraine’s neighbors have been preparing for an influx of refugees, with Moldova alone receiving more than 4,000 people who came from the border.