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Ukrainian soldiers to get top honour posthumously after defiantly telling Russian warship to 'go f**k yourself'

SINGAPORE — A garrison of 13 Ukrainian border guards stationed on an island in the Black Sea will each be posthumously given their nation’s highest medal after they were killed by the Russian navy; they had responded to calls to surrender with a defiant expletive.

Snake Island in the Black Sea.
Snake Island in the Black Sea.

SINGAPORE — A garrison of 13 Ukrainian border guards stationed on an island in the Black Sea will each be posthumously given their nation’s highest medal after they were killed by the Russian navy; they had responded to calls to surrender with a defiant expletive.

According to international news agency CNN, the 13 soldiers were killed in a Russian bombardment.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said: "All border guards died heroically but did not give up. They will be awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine posthumously."

The medal is the highest national title that can be conferred upon an individual citizen by the Ukrainian president.

A correspondent from the British newspaper The Guardian, Mr Shaun Walker, said in a Twitter post on Friday (Feb 25) that the soldiers were defenders on an island known as Zmiinyi Island, or Snake Island.

The tiny island, about 18ha, is some 125km southwest from the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, which has come under bombing as part of the Russian invasion.

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday and Kyiv has reported dozens of casualties and hundreds of wounded. The capital Kyiv came under attack on Friday morning while a missile hit the airport in the city of Rivne in western Ukraine, its mayor said.

Mr Walker, who covers western and central Europe, referenced on his Twitter page an audio clip he said was taken from Zmiinyi Island that includes dialogue between a Russian naval ship and a Ukrainian soldier.

According to English translations for the clip, which has gone viral, the soldiers on the island were hailed by an individual from a Russian warship and told to lay down their weapons and surrender to avoid “bloodshed and casualties”.

Otherwise, they would be attacked, the unnamed sailor on the Russian ship warns.

“This is it,” a Ukrainian soldier is heard saying. “Should I tell him to go f**k himself?”

The response to the question was not audible, but the soldier is heard replying to his aggressor: “Russian warship, go f**k yourself”. Those were their final words. WITH AGENCIES

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Ukraine Russia foreign affairs

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