Zmiinyi island, otherwise known as Snake island, is a tiny yet strategic piece of land located in the Black Sea. Held by Ukraine until it was taken by force by Russia early in the assault, the defenders of the island have earned legendary status.
In the early hours of the Russian assault, the Russian missile cruiser Moskva and the patrol ship Vasily Bykov approached the island and demanded surrender from the 13 border guards stationed there.
After demands for surrender were ignored, the warships bombarded the island for several hours. The defenses held. The Russians gave the defenders one last chance to surrender, and the islanders responded defiantly:
"Russian warship - go f--k yourself."
The Russians then destroyed the entire infrastructure on the island, killing the defenders.
This is a tragic loss of life. We salute the warriors who refused to surrender and stood their ground against Russian tyranny.
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UPDATE (February 28, 2022): According to a statement from the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine the 13 troops may have been captured, not killed