Ukrainian soldiers who were stationed on a small island in the Black Sea are being celebrated as heroes after they gave their lives bravely defending their country against Russia.
On Thursday, 13 border guards stationed on Zmiinyi Island, aka Snake Island, ocated 88 miles south of Odessa in the Black Sea, were killed by Russian forces after refusing to surrender, but not before they said a few defiant last words.
“This is a Russian warship,” a voice says in a viral audio clip of the moment, which was verified by The Washington Post. “I propose you lay down your weapons and surrender to avoid bloodshed and unnecessary victims, or you will be bombed.”
The Ukrainian soldiers can then be heard agreeing with each other, saying “This is it.” So, they replied bravely, before the Russians opened fire: “Russian warship, go fuck yourself.”
“On our Zmiinyi Island, defending it to the last, all the border guards died heroically,” he said. “But they did not give up. All of them will be posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine. Eternal memory to those who gave their lives for Ukraine.”
The Hero of Ukraine medal is the highest honor that Zelensky can award, according to a Ukrainian official.
Following the confrontation, the Ukrainian soldiers were also honored on social media for their bravery.
“I truly hope that I can have a fraction of the bravery of the 13 Ukrainian soldiers who told a Russian warship to ‘go f— itself’ even though they knew what would happen next. May their memory be for a blessing,” Renew Democracy Initiative Director Uriel Epshtein wrote in a tweet that has over 110,000 likes.
Another user called the guards’ final message “the single most brave, badass, amazing thing I’ve ever heard.”