Hero Ukrainian soldiers who told Russian warship ‘go f*** yourself’ may be alive
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Ukrainian soldiers who told a Russian warship to "go f**k yourself" while defending a Black Sea Island could still be alive.
The 13 border guards had been defending the remote Zmiinyi Island on Thursday, February 24 when they were approached by an enemy vessel.
The Russian soldiers onboard told the guards to lay down their weapons or be “bombed”, according to audio clips of the incident that were released by Ukrainian media.
The ultimatum was followed up by an interaction between two of the Ukrainian guards who said, “Should I tell them to go f*** themselves?” before deciding to respond with, “Russian warship, go f*** yourself.”
The Ukrainian troops were presumed dead following the altercation and officials said they would be honoured with awards for their efforts.
After the initial reports of soldiers' deaths, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said: "On our Zmiinyi Island, defending it to the last, all the border guards died heroically.”
However, Russian military officials have denied reports that the guards were killed and have since claimed that they surrendered – despite the audio clips being deemed authentic by officials.
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The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (SBGSU) have now said: “We [have a] strong belief that all Ukrainian defenders of Zmiinyi (Snake) Island may be alive.
“Preliminary information that border guards may be dead came before the defenders lost contact. We sincerely hope that the boys will return home as soon as possible. Glory to Ukrainian defenders!”
The news comes after a Ukrainian businessman is offering £600 for every captured Russian soldier, it has been reported.
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According to Ukraine's former ambassador to Austria, a man has coughed up thousands in bounties paid to people handing over prisoners of war.
But the act has proven controversial online where social media users have questioned why someone would want to collect invading troops.
Russian troops are encountering fierce resistance as they lay siege to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, and are taking unexpectedly high casualties in the hand-to-hand fighting in Ukraine's second city Kharkiv.
- Russia Ukraine war
- Vladimir Putin
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