A Ukrainian soldier stands next to a damaged wall after the reported shelling of a kindergarten in the settlement of Stanytsia Luhanska, Ukraine, on February 17, 2022. – U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned on February 17, 2022, of a provocation by Moscow to justify military intervention in Ukraine after “disturbing” reports of mutual accusations of bombing between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists. (Photo by Aleksey Filippov / AFP) (Photo by ALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP via Getty Images) Ukraine will posthumously declare 13 soldiers Heroes of Ukraine, the nation’s highest honor, after making a defiant stand on Thursday and losing their lives defending the strategically important Snake Island from a Russian warship.
On the first day of fighting amid the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s Russia, 13 Ukrainian border guards died after being shelled by a Russian warship as they attempted to defend the island in the Black Sea. President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that all 13 border guards lost their lives defending the island after the Russian warship fired upon them.
“Defending it to the last, all the border guards died heroically. But did not give up. All of them will be awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine posthumously. Eternal memory to those who gave their lives for Ukraine,” Zelensky said.
Despite their efforts, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reported on Facebook that the Russians have seized control of the territory.
Ukrainian and other international outlets have spread unverified audio , first published by Ukrainian newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda and allegedly verified by Interior Ministry advisor Anton Gerashchenko, that appears to capture the last moments of the Snake Island troops.
“I am a Russian warship. I offer to lay down our arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed and unjustified casualties. Otherwise, you will be bombed,” the Russian warship reportedly said twice […]
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