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'taken captive' Ukrainian soldiers who told Russian warship 'go f**k yourself' still alive

The Ukrainian Navy said that the soldiers have been “taken captive by Russian occupiers” but are “alive and well.”

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Ukrainian soldiers handle equipment from a damaged military vehicle after fighting in Kharkiv, (Marienko Andrew/AP)

Ukrainian soldiers handle equipment from a damaged military vehicle after fighting in Kharkiv, (Marienko Andrew/AP)

Ukrainian soldiers handle equipment from a damaged military vehicle after fighting in Kharkiv, (Marienko Andrew/AP)

The Ukrainian soldiers who defended Snake Island and told invaders to “go f*** yourself” are still alive and being held captive by Russia.

The 13 border guards had initially been presumed dead after defending the small Zmiinyi (Snake) Island located in the Black Sea, approximately 300km from Crimea, against Russian forces last Thursday.

In a statement on Monday, the Ukrainian Navy said that the soldiers have been “taken captive by Russian occupiers” but are “alive and well.”

“The Marines and border guards [were] taken captive by Russian occupiers on Snake Island,” the Navy said in a Facebook post.

“We are very happy to learn that our brothers are alive and well... The sailors bravely rebuked the attacks of the Russian invaders twice... But they were illegally captured by the Russians.

“We are looking forward to our brothers and with all our soul.”

The Ukrainians were presumed dead after Russian soldiers approached Snake Island on Thursday and told the guards to lay down their weapons or be “bombed”, according to audio clips of the incident picked up by local media and shared online.

Two Ukrainian guards can be heard engaging in a brief exchange, saying, “Should I tell them to go f*** themselves?” – before responding with: “Russian warship, go f*** yourself.”

An earlier statement by Ukraine suggested they were then killed by air and sea strikes and planned to give the soldiers military honours.

Russia denied that the soldiers had been killed in this manner, saying that the troops surrendered.

After the initial reports of soldiers being killed on the island emerged, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said: "On our Zmiinyi Island, defending it to the last, all the border guards died heroically.”

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