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 and a master's candidate at New York University's Business & Economic Reporting program.