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Snake Island Sailors Who Shouted 'Go F**k Yourself' Freed As Prisoner Exchange Goes Ahead

Emily Brown

| Last updated 

Snake Island Sailors Who Shouted 'Go F**k Yourself' Freed As Prisoner Exchange Goes Ahead

A group of Ukrainian sailors who were captured while defending Snake Island from Russian troops have been released as part of a prisoner exchange.

The defenders made headlines last month as audio emerged of them telling Russians to 'go f*ck yourselves' after they launched their invasion of Ukraine. Initial reports suggested the group had been killed during the attack, but it was later confirmed they had been captured.

One month after the invasion began, the heroic defenders were released on Thursday, 24 March, as Ukraine and Russia agreed to exchange 50 military and civilian prisoners in the largest swap reported to date.


News of the exchange was shared by Ukraine's deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, who explained Ukraine had returned 11 Russian civilian sailors who had been rescued from a sunken ship near Odesa.

In return, 19 Ukrainian civilian sailors were being sent back to their home country after being captured from the rescue ship Sapphire, which Russian forces took during the Snake Island assault.

Earlier in the day, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine said Vereshchuk was working to free the defenders who had made their feelings towards the Russians clear on Snake Island.

Referring to Snake Island, it explained that it hoped to 'soon return captive Ukrainian soldiers from the island of Zmiyyny, exchanging them for Russian sailors', and their freedom was later confirmed by the Ukrainian Parliament's official Twitter account.


The Twitter post read: "The first exchange of war hostages occurred on President @ZelenskyyUa's order. Additionally, today, #Ukraine exchanged 11 Russian sailors we rescued from a sunken ship near #Odesa to 19 Ukrainian sailors (authors of the legendary phrase "Russian warship go f*** yourself")".

The sailors were praised across the globe for their brazen response to the Russian soldiers, which came after a soldier on the approaching Russian warship told the Ukrainians to 'lay down your arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed and unnecessary victims'.


Russia warned the Ukrainians they would be 'bombed' if they did not obey, but one of the defenders decided instead to discuss the situation with his colleagues, saying: "So that's it ... Should I tell them to f*ck themselves?... Warship, go f*ck yourself."

News of their release has been welcomed by supporters of Ukraine, with the Ukrainian parliament explaining in its posts that the boat used to transport the sailors would also be returned to Ukraine and sent to a Turkish port.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information

Featured Image Credit: @ianbremmer/@ua_parliament/Twitter

Topics: Viral, World News, Ukraine, Politics, Russia

Emily Brown
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