The Russian government media network RT, which operates globally, including in the United States today is disputing claims that the Snake Island defenders who told a Russian warship commander where to go were not killed by Russian forces.
A broadcast of the exchange between the Ukrainian defenders and the Russian warship reported the Ukrainian radio operator telling the naval commander, “Go F*ck Yourself” when ordered to surrender.
The video went viral on social media and was published widely in western media. Today, RT said the border security guards were not killed. That report remains unconfirmed outside of Russian state media.
RT reported, “The initial story allegedly went as follows: a group of 13 border guards on the island was confronted by a Russian warship on Thursday. The Russian ship ordered the group by radio to surrender, the Ukrainians replied “go f**k yourself,” and the Russian ship opened fire.”
“The story spread like wildfire on social media and was held up by the Ukrainian government, Western media outlets and journalists as an example of Ukrainian “heroism.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky honored the troops he declared slain, saying: “On our [Snake] Island, defending it to the last, all the border guards died heroically,” and promising to award them the posthumous title of “Hero of Ukraine,” RT reported.
The Russian government media network said those forces were instead delivered alive to a dock in Sevastopol, Crimea, blaming the misinformation on the Ukrainian government, who lost radio contact with the border guards after the exchange.
Russian media is also claiming the Ukrainian forces never told the ship commander to “Go f*ck yourself”, instead claiming the message was, “Noone will surrender.”