Ukrainian Soldiers on Snake Island Who Told Russian Warship 'Go F**k Yourself' May Actually Be Alive

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This picture shows Russian infantry mobility vehicles GAZ Tigr destroyed as a result of fight in Kharkiv, located some 50 km from Ukrainian-Russian border, on February 28, 2022. Getty Images

A video that included audio of Ukrainian soldiers telling a Russian warship to "Go f*** yourself," went viral last week. The Ukrainian soldiers were reported to have died in the encounter, but authorities have since said that may not be the case.

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 reads.

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.

The response from Ukraine was simple: "Russian warship. Go f*** yourself."

The video went viral on social media and made headlines across the world. 

Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova said the 13 Ukrainian defenders were killed 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.

Ukraine says that hundreds of people have been killed in 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.

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