Serpents’ Island is the only island located off the mainland in the Black Sea, and its dimensions are not impressive: 662 meters from east to west, 440 meters from north to south. It is equipped with a lighthouse, a pontoon, and various barracks. And until the start of the war in Ukraine, it was held by a small contingent of Ukrainian border guards.
On February 24, around 4 p.m., two units of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, including the missile cruiser Moscow, approached the island and called on Ukrainian border guards to surrender. The reaction of the latter immediately became one of the most striking myths of the beginning of the conflict. One of them would indeed have replied to the summons with the following sentence: “Russian ship, fuck you…”
In the evening it was announced, among other things through the online daily Ukrainska Pravda, that the small Ukrainian contingent had perished under the fire of Russian combat ships. In fact, the men – thirteen according to some sources, about fifty according to others – surrendered. But the story of their resistance and the famous response have since gone around the world and are still today a source of patriotic inspiration for the Ukrainian media.
Heavy Russian losses in a few days
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