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Ukrainian troops allegedly told Russian forces "f*** you" before being killed for refusal to surrender

People in Kyiv take cover as Russia attacks
People in Ukraine's capital take cover from air raids and explosions as Russian forces approach 04:30

As Ukrainian forces battle against Russia's invasion, the reported actions of a small group of soldiers who were in charge of guarding a tiny island in the Black Sea have sent shockwaves across the world. As Russian forces descended on Thursday, threatening to bomb them if they didn't surrender, 13 guards allegedly refused and instead issued a resounding, "f*** you." 

Moments later, they were killed. 

Audio appearing to document the encounter was posted on YouTube on Thursday by local news outlet Ukrayinska Pravda. CBS News could not independently verify the audio.  

"Zmeiny Island, [speaking is] Russian ship. I suggest you lay down your arms and surrender in order to avoid bloodshed," a voice is heard saying in Russian. "Otherwise you will be bombed-hit." 

The Ukrainian soldiers responded simply: "Russian ship, f*** you." 

"Русский корабль, иди нах@й" - битва за Зміїний by Українська правда on YouTube

Ukraine's State Border Guard Service confirmed guards had been attacked by Russian ships that fired on the island. A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday that Russia had taken control of the island. 

"Eighty-two Ukrainian soldiers in Zmiinyi Island area lay down their arms and capitulated to Russian soldiers," the Russian spokesman said, according to the Reuters news agency. "Now they must sign a statement that they refuse to participate in military actions. Soon they will be returned to their families."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commended the group of guards who were killed during a late-night address to the nation on Thursday, as he reported that 137 people were killed during the first day of Russia's invasion. 

"Defending the Zmiinyi Island, all our border guards died a heroic death. But they have not surrendered," Zelensky said, adding that the servicemembers killed would be posthumously honored as heroes of Ukraine.

"Let those who gave their lives for Ukraine be remembered forever." 

Zmiinyi Island, otherwise known as Snake Island, is a tiny speck of land in the Black Sea, south of Ukraine, of less than one-tenth of a square mile. Prior to the Russian attack, the Ukrainian territory was home to only about 100 Ukrainian soldiers, a lighthouse and some sheep, according to the international affairs think-tank Atlantic Council

The attack on Snake Island occurred as Russian forces unleashed airstrikes on Ukrainian cities. On Friday morning, Ukraine's foreign minister said explosions from "horrific Russian rocket strikes" were heard in Kyiv. 

"This is a war against Europe, against the unity of Europe, against basic human rights in Europe," Zelensky said on Friday, calling the attacks "similar to what Europe saw during World War II." 

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