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Snake Island defender about being a POW: Russians started interrogations with "Who said the warship line?"

04.04.2023, 17:20
Photo: RFE/RL
Photo: RFE/RL

The Russians would start interrogating Ukrainian POWs from the Snake Island with the question "Who said the warship line?"

Yuriy Kuzmynsky, a former POW and a soldier of the 35th separate marine brigade, spoke about this in his interview with Radio Liberty. He was serving on the Snake Island on February 24, 2022.

"They spent a really long time looking for the person who said this ("Russian warship, go f*** yourself." – Ed.)". But they didn't find him. They didn't find anyone. They asked me who said that. I say: 'The border guards'. And the FSB guy who was there, he said: 'The border guards? The border guards say it was the marines.' I say: 'I didn't see anything, I didn't hear anything.' They even checked some guys' voices. Recorded them to compare. I had eight interrogations at the pretrial detention center alone. And every interrogation would go: 'Who said the warship line? Who said that?'" said the soldier.

Yuriy Kuzminsky noted that he did not expect this phrase to become this viral. He added that since he is from the west of Ukraine, he was also asked about who Bandera was and if he had been at the Maidan.

The soldier came back from captivity on November 24, 2022. He is currently in rehabilitation and plans to return to military service.

As reported by IMI, the modern Ukrainian language and slang dictionary "Myslovo" chose the Snake Island defender's phrase "Russian warship, go f*** yourdelf" as the word of the year.

The line "Russian warship, go f*** yourdelf" has become a symbol of Ukraine's resistance against Russia, which it has been demonstrating since the first day of the full-scale war.

On February 24, two unidentified targets approached the Snake Island. The occupiers ordered the servicemen of the Izmail border detachment to surrender, but a Ukrainian border guard officer responded with a phrase that went viral.

In February 2023, the head of the State Border Service, Serhiy Deyneka, explained that the name of the border guard who said the line "Russian warship, go f*** yourdelf" was not being disclosed for safety reasons. He noted that the author of the line is a border guard, not an officer of any other service. The border guards conducted an examination to prove this.

"This radio channel was ours, a representative of any other service could not have used this comms channel to go on air," Deyneka said.

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