The story of 13 Ukrainian soldiers who refused to surrender their island to a Russian warship and their final defiant message is going viral.
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy confirmed the story in a statement Thursday that said the 13 soldiers would be honored for their bravery.
The soldiers were defending the small island of Zmiinyi located in the Black Sea. A Russian warship ordered them to lay down their arms and surrender peacefully.
"This is a Russian military ship. I suggest you lay down your weapons and surrender to avoid bloodshed and unnecessary victims. Otherwise we will open fire on you," the Russians reportedly told them via radio.
"Russian warship, go f*** yourself!" was the reply.
The Russians opened fire on the island and killed all 13 soldiers.
"All the defenders of the island of Zmiinyi died, but did not surrender," the president later confirmed.
"All of them will be named Heroes of Ukraine," he said.
A reported recording of the exchange was posted to social media and was widely circulated.
The incident was compared by some to that of the 300 Spartans in antiquity who died defending their homeland against invading hoards of Persia. Zmiinyi island translated to English means Snake island, inspiring some to draw parallels to America's own Gadsden flag.
"May the memory of those who gave their lives for Ukraine live forever," said Zelenskyy.
Putin is fighting a battle on his home front as well as anti-invasion protests have roared to life on Russian soil. Some reports say as many as 17,000 people have already been arrested in the demonstrations flaring up across Russia.
Here's the latest on the Russian invasion of Ukraine:
Russia invades Ukraine on many fronts in 'brutal act of war' www.youtube.com