Snake Island in the Black Sea is part of the Kiliya district of the Odessa region, just 40 miles from Romanian border. It became part of Ukraine in accordance with the Paris Agreement of 1947, after the transfer of Bessarabia to the Soviet Union.

After the collapse of the USSR, the island became the subject of a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Romania. In February 2009, it was decided by the International Court of Justice in The Hague: the court recognized the territory as Island, and not a rock, which Romania demanded.

Nearby the island on the shelf there are rich reserves of oil and gas.

The island is defended by a small contingent of border guards, allegedly 13 in number.

After Russia launched its full-scale invasion of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reported that Russian combat aircraft shelled the island and destroyed the entire infrastructure. They said that the territory was fired upon by the artillery of the Moskva cruiser and the Vasily Bykov patrol ship. After that, a Russian Su-24 air raid was carried out on the island.

On the afternoon of February 24, the Border Guard Service of Ukraine published an audio of negotiations between the Russian navy and Ukrainian military on Snake Island.

-This is a Russian military ship. You are in complete isolation in the weapon kill zone. If you resist, you will be destroyed. The chances of survival are zero. Think about your children, loved ones who need you. Who love you and are waiting for you at home alive and well. This will end soon and you will continue your usual life. Make the right decision, stay alive!” a male voice sounds on the recording.

-Russian military ship, go fuck yourself.

They were all killed.

President Zelensky awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine to all defenders of Snake island.

The story shocked and inspired Ukrainians who showed the world a new symbol of unprecedented patriotism and military honor.