Snake Island Ukrainians found alive, taken as Russian prisoners

Family members hug as they reunite, after fleeing conflict in Ukraine, at the Medyka border crossing, in Poland, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. Since Russia launched its offensive on Ukraine, more than 200,000 people have been forced to flee the country to bordering nations like Romania, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, and the Czech Republic — in what the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, said will have "devastating humanitarian consequences" on civilians. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)


The 13 Ukrainian border guards-turned-international-heroes that had reportedly been killed after telling a Russian warship to “go fuck yourself” instead of surrendering their post were confirmed to be alive on Sunday by the Ukrainian Navy .

The announcement was made in a Facebook post, reading, “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 and well.”

Initial reporting stated that the guards had been stationed on a rocky Black Sea land mass known as Snake Island when a Russian warship approached and radioed the guards.

“This is a Russian warship,” the invaders announced. “I propose you lay down arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed and unnecessary victims. Otherwise, you’ll be bombed.”

“Russian warship, go fuck yourself,” the Ukrainians responded.

And while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself had confirmed late Thursday that the guards had “died heroically” defending the island, the guards are alive and have been taken prisoner by Russian forces.

Earlier reporting on the story took into account the complete loss of communication with the small unit, the severe destruction of the island’s infrastructure and a lack of Russian reporting stating otherwise, as evidence that the guards had been killed.

Zelenskyy has yet to comment on this new revelation regarding the Snake Island border guards.

Rachel is a Marine Corps veteran, Penn State alumna and Master’s candidate at New York University for Business and Economic Reporting.



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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.