The war in Ukraine has also moved to strategic enclaves for Russian geopolitics. A military attack has claimed the lives this Thursday of thirteen soldiers who were defending an islet in the Black Sea, known as Serpent Island, and which is 40 kilometers from NATO territory. The Ukrainian detachment refused to surrender, despite threats from the Russian navy, which even warned them that if they did not lay down their arms there would be bombings. “Russian warship, go to hell.” This was the response of the Ukrainian officer who took the floor.
Russian troops enter Kiev
Following this reply, “an attack with missiles and artillery began,” according to a message retweeted by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. Thirteen border guards died in that offensive. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has announced that he will award a posthumous medal to this detachment. “All the border guards died heroically but they did not give up,” he said, in a statement collected by The Guardian.
The island besieged by the Russians has a strategic enclave because it is 40 kilometers from Romania, a country that is part of NATO. The islet covers an area of 18 hectares and is located around 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the Ukrainian coast, as reported by CNN.
The minutes prior to the attack on the island have been recorded in an audio, broadcast by various international media such as Ukrayinska Pravda, CNN and Guardian. “We are a Russian ship. I repeat, we are a Russian ship. I suggest you lay down your arms and surrender to avoid unnecessary bloodshed and casualties. Otherwise you will be bombed. Otherwise you will be bombed.” They insistently repeated the Russian military.
After that warning, the response of a Ukrainian officer is heard: “Russian warship, go to hell.” From the coast, the scene has been published by the journalist Alec Luhn on his Twitter profile.
The Guardian has confirmed, citing local media, that the Russian navy even bombarded the islet with naval artillery cannons. Highlighting the strategic importance of this islet, Zelensky chose it last year as the location for an interview with Ukrainian media ahead of a summit to try to reverse Russia’s annexation of Crimea, according to a report by the thinktank Atlantic Council.