The last defenders of an island just off Ukraine left the Russian invaders a defiant message
During the preamble to war here much was said about the resolve of Ukrainian soldiers to defend their country at all costs.
Today, Ukraine has 13 heroic martyrs whose defiance will forever speak volumes about courage, resistance and resolve.
In fact they made sure their enemies and the world heard their final words at full volume.
They were the defenders of Snake Island, little more than a strategic rock off Ukraine’s Black Sea coast.
When a Russian warship approached it sent a radio message asking the Ukrainian garrison to surrender or else they would open fire.
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There’s a recording of the exchange. It appears two Ukrainian soldiers were at the radio.
“This is it,” says one of them.
“Should I tell him to go f*** himself?’
His colleague, apparently a female soldier, whispers “just in case…..”
Then the volume is turned up.
“Russian warship, go f*** yourself.”
The Russians were ruthless and it seems all 13 Ukrainians were killed in the subsequent barrage.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced that all of them will be posthumously recognised with his country’s highest honour.