Speed Reads

the legend of snake island

The Ukrainian border guards who told the Russians to 'go f--k yourself' might still be alive

The 13 Ukrainian border guards who last week defended the strategically-important Snake Island from a Russian warship — having gone so far as to tell the boat to "go f--k yourself" — are apparently still alive and in the hands of the Russians, The Daily Beast reports.

On Monday, Ukraine's Navy wrote in a Facebook post that, "Regarding the Marines and border guards, who were taken captive by Russian occupiers on the island of Snake ... We are very happy to learn that our brothers are alive and well with them!" per The Daily Beast. Kyiv had previously thought all soldiers dead, with the now-famous "f--k yourself" dig against the Russians being perhaps their last words.

The Navy also noted that a civilian ship had sailed to Snake Island to rescue the Ukrainian guards after the attack, but that vessel was captured by the Russians, as well, adds The Jerusalem Post. The Navy then called for the release of the Ukrainian citizens. 

Per Kevin Rothrock, apparently the Ukrainian military had assumed the deaths of the soliders after losing communications with the island. In its attack, "Russia destroyed the island's infrastructure including lighthouses, towers, antennas," in addition to the seizure of the civilian ship, Politico writes, per the Navy's Facebook post.