The Heroes of Snake Island

The first day of the Ukraine-Russia war was tragic, bloody, and intense. Russia invaded February 24 in the early hours of the morning, with a shock and awe campaign targeting cities across Ukraine.

Civilians fled for bomb shelters, as Russia worked to cut off Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv from the rest of the country and attacked defenses in crucial cities, such as Odessa, Karkiv and Mariupol.

However, nothing that happened on day one, amid the bloodshed and chaos, equaled the heroism shown by a small squad of soldiers on Snake Island about 30 miles off the Ukraine coast.

The Russian Assault

Amid the first day of fighting, one heroic incident stood out.

This is heroism that comes once a generation. It makes a nation proud for the rest of its existence. These kind of heroes are who people’s great grandchildren will talk about in awe.

It happened on a tiny island in the Black Sea called Snake Island (Zmiinyi Island), where Ukraine had a small contingent of border guard troops stationed.

The island is less than a tenth of a square mile. It is not clear why Russia felt it important to attack the island, apart from humiliation. Audio from the incident has the Russian warship threatening the border troops and telling them to surrender.

They say failure to surrender will lead to their bombardment and death. The troops answer shortly, prepared for death: “Russian warship, f— you.”

Death Before Dishonor

All 13 soldiers on Snake Island were later confirmed dead by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. The president also noted the dead soldiers will each be receiving the nation’s highest honor posthumously, the Hero of Ukraine medal.

Teens as young as 15 years old are now being drafted to fight for Ukraine. The nation is in the fight of its life and in danger of full collapse. The Ukraine government also handed out 10,000 automatic weapons to citizens to defend themselves.

Zelensky said fighting will come to the city squares and all patriots who wish to fight to defend their homeland will be given a weapon. This is not a drill, and this is far from over.

Ukraine has fought exceptionally bravely and intensely, including its successful and lethal defense of the Hostomel airfield against devastating Russian Mi-8s and onrushing troops.

The War Rages On

Ukraine announced 137 of its soldiers were killed in action during the first day of combat. There have also been more than 360 injuries.

The death toll from Russia has not been released; although Ukraine says it hit hard and took down multiple fighter jets, helicopters, battalion tactical groups and Russian troop incursions.

The heroes of Snake Island are the best of Ukraine. They refused to surrender to foreign invaders and died like men.