Ukrainian PoWs given heroes’ welcome after telling Putin warship to ‘go f*** yourself’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun4,2024

The Ukrainian prisoners of war who fearlessly told Putin’s warship to “go f*** yourself” have been given a heroes’ welcome after being released in a prisoner exchange.

The border guards were protecting the strategic Snake Island – which plays an important role in delineating Ukrainian territorial waters in the Black Sea – when they faced an ultimatum from the Russians to surrender.

It was initially believed the 19 guards were killed in a Russian aerial bombardment, but it was later revealed that they had instead been captured as PoWs.

After nearly 800 days in captivity on the island, they were returned to Ukraine on Friday in a prisoner swap.

They were seen singing a patriotic song led by former PoW Konstantin Mirgorodsky as they were driven to meet their families after the release.

Pictures from the reunion show them holding Ukrainian flags aloft.

Maryana Chechelyuk, 24, who had been feared dead after being held in Olenivka detention centre where dozens of Ukrainian PoWs died in a massacre, was one of those returned.

The young police officer had been in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol when defenders surrendered to Putin’s forces. She was separated from her younger sister and taken to a brutal filtration camp.

Snake Island was approached by a Russian military vessel at the start of the RussiaUkraine war. In a radio message, Russian soldiers warned the guards to drop their weapons and surrender, or face bombardment.

However, the Ukrainian troops defiantly refused to give up the territory, and replied: “Go f*** yourselves!”

The Russians took the island but later gave it up in a setback which was dubbed a “gesture of goodwill” by Moscow.

The event became so momentous that postage stamps were put into circulation in April 2022, becoming a “symbol of courage and indomitable spirit” of the Ukrainian people, according to Ukrposhta National Post.

The flagship Russian vessel, the Moskva, was later sunk in a Ukrainian missile strike, despite the fact that Ukraine was without a functioning Navy.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said: “Throughout all of this time, we have not stopped working for a single day to bring everyone home from Russian captivity.

“We remember every person. We are making every effort to find every one of our people. I am grateful to the team responsible for the exchanges.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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