Attack on Snake Island

battle in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

Encyclopedia from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Attack on Snake Island
Part of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Date24 February 2022
Location45°15′18″N 30°12′15″E / 45.25500°N 30.20417°E / 45.25500; 30.20417Coordinates: 45°15′18″N 30°12′15″E / 45.25500°N 30.20417°E / 45.25500; 30.20417
Result Russian victory
Belligerents
Russia Russia

Ukraine Ukraine

Units involved

Russian Navy

State Border Guard[1]
Strength

1 missile cruiser

1 patrol boat

Per Ukraine:
13 border guards
Per Russia:
82 soldiers
Casualties and losses
Per Russia:
None
Per Ukraine:
13 border guards killed
Per Russia:
82 soldiers captured

The Attack on Snake Island took place on 24 February 2022 on Snake Island (Ukrainian: Острів Зміїний, romanizedOstriv Zmiinyi) in the Black Sea during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine initial advance.

Background

Photo of the island taken in 2008

Snake Island is a small rocky island off the southern coast of Ukraine, strategically located near Romania and at the edge of Ukrainian territorial waters in the Black Sea.[2][3] The territorial waters surrounding the island were disputed by Romania and Ukraine from 2004 to 2009, when the International Court of Justice (ICJ) awarded most of them to Romania.[4] It was during this period that Ukraine founded the island's only settlement, Bile, in 2007 to prove the status of Snake Island as an inhabitable island and gain leverage in the dispute.[5]

In August 2021, as Russian forces built up around Ukraine, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a press event on the island, during which he said: "This island, like the rest of our territory, is Ukrainian land, and we will defend it with all our might."[3]

Attack

On 24 February 2022, the first day of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine,[6] Ukrainian State Border Guards announced about 18:00 local time that Snake Island had come under attack by Russian Navy ships.[7] The cruiser Moskva and patrol boat Vasily Bykov were firing their deck guns.[8]

External video
video icon | Audio of Ukrainian Soldiers / Guardian News

When the Russian warship identified itself and instructed the Ukrainian soldiers stationed on the island to surrender, their response was "Russian warship, go fuck yourself" (Russian: 'Русский военный корабль, иди на хуй', tr. Russky voyenny korabl, idi na khuy).[9][10] An audio clip of the exchange was first shared by Ukrainian government official Anton Herashchenko,[11] then widely distributed by the Ukrayinska Pravda, and later verified as authentic by Ukrainian government sources.[12][13]

One Ukrainian soldier live-streamed the moment that the Russian warship opened fire.[14]

Later in the evening, the State Border Guard Service said that communication with the island had been lost.[15]

At 22:00 (01:00 Moscow Time, UTC+2), service officials announced that Russian forces had captured the island following a naval and air bombardment that destroyed all infrastructure on the island.[16][17]

After the bombardment, a detachment of Russian soldiers landed and took control of Snake Island.[18] Thirteen border guards, representing the entirety of the Ukrainian military presence on the island, were killed after refusing to surrender.[19][20]

Russian defence media presented an alternate version of events, claiming that 82 Ukrainian soldiers were taken prisoner after surrendering voluntarily.[13] According to Russian ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, the prisoners have been signing pledges promising not to continue military action against Russia and will be released soon.[21]

On 26 February 2022, Ukrainian authorities announced that the civilian search and rescue ship Sapphire was captured by the Russian navy off Snake Island.[22]

Reaction

The Ukrainian border guards' defiant last words "Russian warship, go fuck yourself" went viral and became a rallying cry for Ukrainians and their supporters around the world.[23] The Week compared the phrase to "Remember the Alamo" from the 19th century Texas Revolution.[24]

On the day of the attack, Zelenskyy announced that all thirteen guards would posthumously be awarded the title Hero of Ukraine, the highest Ukrainian military honor.[10]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Zmiinyi Island In Black Sea Attacked From Russian Ships - Border Service". ukranews_com. 24 February 2022. Archived from the original on 24 February 2022. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  2. ^ "13 Ukraine soldiers tell Russia 'go f*** yourself' in defiant last stand". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Ukraine soldiers tell Russia "go f*** yourself" before being killed in chilling audio". Newsweek. 25 February 2022. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  4. ^ "International Court of Justice: Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)". Archived from the original on 24 September 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
  5. ^ Veselova, Viktoriya (25 January 2022). "Острів, де планували деокупацію Криму: як виглядав Зміїний до війни з Росією". Radio Free Europe Ukraïna (in Ukrainian).
  6. ^ Зубкова, Даша (24 February 2022). "Zmiinyi Island In Black Sea Attacked From Russian Ships - Border Service". Ukrainian News Agency. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  7. ^ "Ukrainian soldier deployed on Snake Island live streamed the moment a Russian warship opened fire on the Island. All 13 soldiers lost their lives". Twitter. @PokiRae_. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  8. ^ "Russian Navy Captures Ukraine's Outpost on Snake Island". The Maritime Executive. 24 February 2022. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  9. ^ ""Русский корабль, иди на х.й!": захисники Зміїного відповіли ворогові" ["Russian ship, go on f.y!": Defenders of the Serpent responded to the enemy]. Українська правда (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  10. ^ a b Lister, Tim; Pennington, Josh (24 February 2022). "Russia invades Ukraine". CNN. p. Audio emerges appearing to be of Ukrainian fighters defending island from Russian warship. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  11. ^ "Pravda Gerashchenko". Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  12. ^ "On Ukraine's Snake Island, a defiant last stand against Russian forces". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  13. ^ a b "'Russian warship, go f**k yourself': the defiant last words of 13 Ukrainian soldiers". The Independent. 25 February 2022. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  14. ^ "One of 13 killed on Ukrainian island live-streamed attack". Newsweek. 24 February 2022. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  15. ^ "Ukrainians trapped on Snake Island to the Russians demanding their surrender: 'go f*ck yourself.'". 25 February 2022. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  16. ^ "Острів Зміїний захопили російські окупанти - ДПСУ" [Snake Island was captured by the Russian occupiers - SBGS]. Gazeta UA. 24 February 2022. Archived from the original on 24 February 2022. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  17. ^ Hallam, Johnny (24 February 2022). "Ukraine's State Border Guard says island south of country's coast falls into Russian hands". CNN. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Ukraine soldiers told Russian officer 'go fuck yourself' before they died on island". the Guardian. 25 February 2022. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  19. ^ "Ukraine's Snake Island under attack, border guards took up defense". UATV. 24 February 2022. Archived from the original on 24 February 2022. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  20. ^ "13 Ukrainian border guards killed in Russian take-over of Snake Island in the Black Sea, near the Romanian border - official". Twitter. BNO News. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  21. ^ Dean, Jeff (25 February 2022). "Russian warship tells Ukrainian soldiers to surrender. They profanely refuse". NPR. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  22. ^ "Россия захватила гражданское спасательное судно у острова Змеиный". www.unian.net (in Russian). Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  23. ^ Ziezulewicz, Geoff (25 February 2022). "Ukrainians trapped on Snake Island to the Russians demanding their surrender: 'go f*ck yourself.'". Navy Times. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  24. ^ "How 'Russian warship, go f--k yourself' became Ukraine's 'Remember the Alamo!'". The Week. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Attack on Snake Island