UPDATE

The Ukrainian navy confirmed this morning that the defenders of Snake Island “are alive and held captive”:

ORIGINAL POST:

The Washington Post reported on Saturday that the 13 Ukrainian border guards who reportedly told a Russian warship to go “f*ck yourself” and were then reportedly slaughtered may have survived and are now prisoners of war:

From the WaPo:

Ukrainian border guards who insulted Russian forces this week in a recorded exchange that went viral may not have been killed, Ukrainian officials said Saturday, contradicting an earlier claim by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine said in a statement posted to its Facebook page that the guards may be alive, after Russian media reported that they were taken as prisoners from their base on Snake Island in the Black Sea to Sevastopol, a port city that Russia controls on the Crimean Peninsula.

Zelensky cited the guards’ story Thursday while highlighting Ukrainian resistance to a Russian invasion, saying that 13 guards had “died heroically.” He said he would recognize each with the title Hero of Ukraine.

And here’s the full statement posted to the Facebook page for the State Border Guard Service:

We got strong beliefs that all Ukrainian defenders of Zmiiniy Island may be alive
The SBGSU and the Armed Forces, like the whole of Ukraine, have received hope that all of Zmiiny’s defenders are alive.
Russian media reported that Ukrainian servicemen on the island, who were temporarily occupied by Russia in Sevastopol, had been sent to Sevastopol.
Preliminary information that border guards may be dead came before the defenders lost contact.
As previously reported, on February 24, the aggressor fired from naval weapons and used combat aircraft on border guards and soldiers of the Armed Forces on the island of Zmiiny.
According to available information at the time, the infrastructure was destroyed and the island captured.
Prior to that, the enemy repeatedly tried in vain to intimidate Ukrainian defenders with demands to surrender and received only one correct answer – no one will surrender.
We understand that Russian propagandists know how to make the necessary information attacks and use them, noting that Ukrainian defenders have surrendered.
Border guards and fighters of the Armed Forces bravely defended themselves, especially in the face of the overwhelming means of defeat and enemy forces.
Work to learn about the fate of Ukrainian defenders continued in all possible directions.
Currently, after receiving information about their probable location, the SBGS together with the Armed Forces is working to identify our soldiers, which is common in open networks.
We sincerely hope that the boys will return home as soon as possible, and the information received at the time of the attack on the death will not be confirmed.
Glory to Ukrainian defenders !!!

We’ll keep you posted as soon as we learn more.

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