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Ukrainian Snake Island defenders feared dead found ‘alive and well’: Ukrainian Navy

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After a viral video of an audio exchange between Ukrainian border guards on Snake Island and a Russian warship, 13 of the Ukrainian defenders were feared dead but were found to be alive, according to a statement released by the Ukrainian Navy on Facebook on Monday.

“We are very happy to learn that our brothers are alive and well!” the statement posted to Facebook read.

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“But Russian propaganda is trying to promote the ‘news’ that the Ukrainian authorities have ‘forgotten’ and ‘buried’ their subordinates. At the same time, the Marines bravely repulsed the attacks of the Russian occupiers [twice]… [but] were unable to continue defending the island.”

The audio exchange between the two parties went viral after being posted to social media, with users praising the Ukrainian defenders for their courage in standing up to the invaders. One of the Ukrainian troops responded to a warning from a Russian vessel to lay down their weapons or face being bombed by telling them to go to hell.

Late Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the 13 soldiers on Snake Island had all died “heroically,” as reported by CNN.

The soldiers on Snake Island, an island off the tip of the Ukrainian mainland in the Black Sea, had reportedly repelled two attacks by the Russian invaders but had to eventually surrender because they lacked the ammunition to continue fighting to defeat them, the Navy said in the Facebook post.

“… The [Russian] occupiers ‘forgot’ to report that they had completely destroyed the island’s infrastructure: lighthouses, towers, antennas, etc,” the statement read, adding that communication had been cut off which made it difficult for them to find out exactly what happened to the 13 men.

“The constant shelling by warships and aircraft of the Russian Federation did not allow to deliver aid to the Marines.”

Russian media reported the arrival of the 13 Ukrainian soldiers in Sevastopol, Crimea, where they were being held, CNN reported.

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