‘We f****** hit them’: Russian warship that attacked Snake Island soldiers ‘destroyed’

Video footage appears to show Ukrainian navy exchanging fire with Russian ships as it defends the Black Sea port of Odessa

Chiara Giordano
Wednesday 09 March 2022 10:24
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Video appears to show Ukraine marines hitting Russian ship in Odessa region

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Video footage has captured Ukrainian sailors cheering as they claim to have destroyed a Russian warship that attacked a small island on the first day of the war.

The recording, shared by the Ukrainian navy, shows a barrage of rockets being fired into the night sky during the defence of the Black Sea port of Odessa in the early hours of Monday before an orange glow appears to show a destroyed vessel in the distance.

One man can be heard shouting excitedly “We f****** hit them”, while another repeats the words spoken by captured Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island, saying: “Russian warship, go f*** yourself.”

The general staff of the armed forces of Ukraine shared the footage on Facebook, writing: “Today, March 7, 2022, the Marine Corps units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, protecting Odessa region, struck an enemy ship.”

The Ukrainian navy later confirmed forces defending the port city in southern Ukraine hit a Russian vessel in the Black Sea with gunfire.

"The enemy has retreated again," it said in a brief statement on Facebook.

It was not immediately clear what type of vessel had been hit, however reports claim it was the Vasily Bykov – one of two ships involved in the notorious attack on Zmiinyi (Snake) Island which saw defiant Ukrainian border guards who refused to surrender tell the Russian navy “go f*** yourself” before being shelled in response.

In an audio recording of the incident, a Russian warship told the guards via loudspeaker that they should surrender or “be hit with a bomb strike”.

“Russian warship, go f*** yourself,” was their leader’s reply.

The 13 border guards stationed on the remote Snake Island, a largely uninhabited but strategically important strip of land in the Black Sea, about 186 miles west of Crimea, were initially thought to have been killed in the attack on 24 February.

Citizens fill bags with sand for frontlines along the beach of the Black Sea city of Odessa, in southern Ukraine, on 7 March 2022

But days later it emerged they were still alive and had been taken prisoner.

Russian state media showed the Ukrainian soldiers’ arrival in Sevastopol, Crimea, where they are reportedly being held.

They surrendered after repelling two Russian attacks “due to the lack of ammunition,” the Ukrainian navy said.

The extent of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky returned to his Kyiv office on Monday night, declaring he was “not hiding” from anyone and would stay in Ukraine for as long as needed to win the war started by Russia.

Overnight attacks and shelling continued in parts of Ukraine, including Kyiv and Sumy, and the Kyiv suburb Bucha faced heavy artillery fire last night.

To the west, tens of thousands in Lviv are facing starvation and homelessness, the city’s mayor announced.

Russia’s advance has slowed but it is on track to storm Kyiv, the Ukrainian army said on Monday after a third round of negotiations between the two nations hit a deadlock.

But the Ukrainian defence forces claim to have killed another top Russian military leader, Major General Vitaly Gerasimov.

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