- Border guards who died defending Snake Island will be awarded the title "Hero of Ukraine."
- The guards reportedly died after refusing to surrender to a Russian warship.
- "May the memory of those who gave their lives for Ukraine live forever," President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday he will issue posthumous honors to security forces who were killed after refusing to surrender to a Russian war ship in the Black Sea.
"On our Zmiinyi Island, defending it to the last, all the border guards died heroically," Zelensky said. "But [they] did not give up."
At least 137 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed on the first day of fighting, according to Zelensky, and another 316 wounded.
Zelensky said the deceased border guards would be awarded the title "Hero of Ukraine."
"May the memory of those who gave their lives for Ukraine live forever," he said.
Snake Island, as it's known in English, is located about 30 miles off Ukraine's coast. Its total land area is less than 1/10th of a square mile.
"This island, like the rest of our territory, is Ukrainian land, and we will defend it with all our might," Zelensky said in an August 2021 interview.