The group of Ukrainian guards who told a Russian warship to “go fuck yourself” are not actually dead, Ukraine’s navy has said.
The border guards on Snake Island were believed to have been killed after they refused to surrender to the Russian navy on Feb. 24, the first day of Russia’s invasion.
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 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.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had confirmed the death of 13 guards deaths in 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.
However, on Monday Feb. 28, Ukraine’s navy said in a Facebook post that they had discovered that the Snake Island soldiers were “alive and well” but had been taken captive by Russian soldiers.
It said that the Ukrainian soldiers had fought off two attacks by the Russian forces but had to surrender in the end due to lack of ammunition.
The statement added that Russian troops completely destroyed the island’s infrastructure, including its lighthouses, towers and antennas, thereby cutting off communications to the island.
The navy said it was looking forward to being reunited with their brothers.