Ukrainian border guards put up a new sign on Snake Island this weekend, recalling the first hours of the Russian invasion when a military officer from the strategic Black Sea unit defied the ultimatum of a Russian warship to surrender.
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"The next border sign will be placed on our Ukrainian Crimea after its release from the Ukrainian Defense Forces," a man in uniform standing in front of a pole painted in the national colors blue and yellow said in a video posted on Facebook. It was published late last night by the head of the border service, Sergius Deineko.
The small Snake Island became synonymous with Ukrainian resistance in the first hours of the invasion on February 24, 2022, when Russian officers of the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet "Moscow" radioed Ukrainian border guards stationed there and ordered them to surrender if they did not want to die.
One of them replied on the radio: "Russian warship, go yourself."
The phrase has become a national slogan inscribed on Ukrainian billboards, T-shirts and a postage stamp.
The strategic island overlooks the sea lanes leading to Odessa, Ukraine's main Black Sea port.
On April 14, 2022, two Ukrainian missiles hit Moscow, the largest warship to be sunk in battle in 40 years. Russia said one sailor was killed in the incident.
According to Western experts, about half of the crew, numbering about 450 people, died at sea.
On June 30, Russia left Snake Island after suffering heavy losses trying to protect it. Moscow called its withdrawal another "gesture of goodwill."
Russia still holds territory in eastern and southern Ukraine.
Day 500 of the war: President Zelensky pays tribute to those killed on Snake Island
However, Ukraine is moving forward with its counteroffensive and yesterday announced that it has made further progress.
"Historical justice has been restored," Deineko wrote on Facebook. "Ukraine will surely win!!"
Russian invasion of Ukraine