A group of Ukrainian soldiers who were thought to be dead after defending Snake Island last week amid the Russian invasion may still be alive, Ukrainian officials said on Sunday. The island may have been captured by Russian military forces, but it’s not clear what happened to the 13 soldiers who were reportedly guarding it.
“We sincerely hope that the boys will return home as soon as possible, and the information received at the time of the attack on the death will not be confirmed,”The statement is as follows:
Last week as Russia invaded Ukraine, Russian soldiers contacted the Ukrainian border guards on the island, saying they must surrender or the Russians would open fire, according to an audio clip released by the Ukrainian government.
Ukraine responded with a simple statement: “Russian warship. Go f*** yourself.”
The video quickly became viral via social media and was covered in the news all over the world.
Oksana Markarova, the Ukrainian Ambassador, stated that 13 Ukrainian defenders died in the fighting that followed and that they would be honored. At the same time, Russia said that 82 Ukrainian soldiers on the island surrendered to them voluntarily and made no mention of strikes or casualties, BBC reported.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov also said that the soldiers were going to sign “written vows to reject military resistance” and would be reunited with their families soon.
According to Ukraine, hundreds of civilians have been killed by the Russian invasion. As of Sunday, Ukraine’s health ministry said at least 352 civilians, including 14 children, have been killed since the invasion began, and another 1,684 people have been injured.