According to the Ukrainian Navy, the Ukrainian defenders of Snake Island, who were all thought to be dead after their defiant response to threats from a Russian cruiser, are “alive and well.”

On the first day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last Thursday, all of the soldiers on the tiny island in the Black Sea were believed to have been killed in an attack.

“Russian warship, go f*** yourself,” one of the Ukrainian troops allegedly said in response to a warning from an incoming Russian vessel to lay down their guns or face bombing.

According to the Ukrainian Navy, the Ukrainian defenders of Snake Island, who were all thought to be dead after their defiant response to threats from a Russian cruiser, are “alive and well.”

On the first day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last Thursday, all of the soldiers on the tiny island in the Black Sea were believed to have been killed in an attack.

“Russian warship, go f*** yourself,” one of the Ukrainian troops allegedly said in response to a warning from an incoming Russian vessel to lay down their guns or face bombing.

According to the navy, the island’s soldiers repulsed two Russian attacks before being forced to surrender “due to a lack of ammunition.”

The island’s infrastructure, including lighthouses, towers, and antennae, has been completely devastated, according to the statement.

The arrival of Ukrainian soldiers in Sevastopol, Crimea, where they are being kept, was also seen on Russian state television.

Snake Island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, is located in the northern Black Sea about 30 miles (48 kilometres) off the southern edge of the Ukrainian mainland. It’s around 185 miles west of Crimea, which Russia took from Ukraine in 2014.

Despite its small size (approximately 46 acres/18 hectares), the non-partisan Atlantic Council think group deemed it “essential to Ukraine’s marine territorial claims” in the Black Sea in a report last year.

According to the Atlantic Council research, Zelensky chose Snake Island last year as the location for an interview with Ukrainian media in anticipation of a summit to try to reverse Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

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