Updated Feb 28, 2022 - World

Ukraine Navy says Snake Island border guards still alive

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A Ukrainian flag flies in Kyiv. Photo: Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images

The Ukrainian border guards who were initially reported dead after refusing to surrender tiny Snake Island in the Black Sea to a Russian warship are "alive and well," Ukraine's Navy said Monday.

Driving the news: In a Facebook post, the Ukrainian Navy said that the guards "bravely" held back Russian attacks, but had to surrender "due to the lack of ammunition."

  • It added that Russian forces "completely destroyed the island's infrastructure," including lighthouses, towers and antennas.
  • Snake Island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, is 30 miles off the coast of Ukraine and less than 0.1 square miles in area.

Worth noting: Axios has not confirmed audio purportedly of the incident, which includes border guards rejecting a demand that they surrender before the warship opens fire.

Go deeper: Get the latest with the Ukraine-Russia dashboard

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the Navy's statement that the guards are "alive and well."

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