Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky related a disturbing story Thursday, claiming that 13 Ukrainian soldiers stationed on the remote island of Zmiinyi in the Black Sea were slaughtered after defiantly telling Russians on board a warship to “go f*** yourself” following a demand to lay down weapons and surrender.
When the soldiers repeatedly refused to surrender, the Russian warship opened fire on the island, killing them all according to the Ukrainian government.
Apparent recordings and videos of the exchange are doing the rounds on social media.
Zelenskyy said the soldiers the be posthumously given the “Hero of Ukraine” award for their bravery, stating “All the defenders of the island of Zmiinyi died but did not surrender.”
Zelensky announced Thursday that 137 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed with another 316 injured.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government announced Thursday that it will not allow any men between the ages of 18 and 60 to leave the country, in a stark declaration of how it intends to respond to Russian missiles.
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry of Defense issued a statement declaring:
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reports that due to the imposition of martial law in Ukraine, the departure of a certain category of citizens from Ukraine is temporarily restricted.
In particular, male citizens of Ukraine aged 18 to 60 are prohibited from leaving Ukraine.
Such a rule will apply for the period of martial law.
We ask citizens to take this information into account.
The government has also begun drafting reservists between the same ages, but has ruled out a general mobilisation of troops at this time, Reuters reported following a Presidential decree.
The move comes as the government also vowed to supply arms to any citizens who wish to take them.
“We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities,” the Ukrainian leader said in his statement, adding “We will lift sanctions on all citizens of Ukraine who are ready to defend our country as part of territorial defense with weapons in hands.”
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