how do you answer when the call comes?
As with all conflicts, just a few days in to the Second Russo-Ukraine War you have stories that start to break out in to the public. Some seem like rumor, urban legends, propaganda, or just embellishments of real stories or hopeful desires.
Two have come up over the last few days. One that seems closer to the urban legend and hopeful desires area is the heroic fighter pilot, "The Ghost of Kyiv," putting up an amazing fight against all odds in his plucky MiG-29.
The second seems to be from the same area but with time we have found is actually a true story.
13 Ukrainian border guards were stationed in an isolated, barren and what would appear to be generally ignorable island off their southwest coast on the Black Sea.
These were not the elite of their nation. They were not special forces. They weren’t even regular army. They were border guards guarding a small rock far isolated from the front lines.
Then one beautiful winter day, over the horizon comes a Russian warship.
What is their duty? What do they do?
What would you do?
In a spirit Americans should fully understand from The Alamo to Bastogne, they had a simple answer.
The Russian Navy had their response.
Truth is often more inspiring than fiction.
Ukraine's State Border Guard Service confirmed guards had been attacked by Russian ships that fired on the island. A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday that Russia had taken control of the island.
"Eighty-two Ukrainian soldiers in Zmiinyi Island area lay down their arms and capitulated to Russian soldiers," the Russian spokesman said, according to the Reuters news agency. "Now they must sign a statement that they refuse to participate in military actions. Soon they will be returned to their families."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commended the group of guards who were killed during a late-night address to the nation on Thursday, as he reported that 137 people were killed during the first day of Russia's invasion.
"Defending the Zmiinyi Island, all our border guards died a heroic death. But they have not surrendered," Zelensky said, adding that the servicemembers killed would be posthumously honored as heroes of Ukraine.
"Let those who gave their lives for Ukraine be remembered forever."
A question to the Front Porch here. I pride myself in my RECCE skills, but for the life of me I cannot identify this ship class. The stack aft is throwing me out as is the livery and bow shape.
UPDATE: PCrudy on twitter got it first and frankly, I'm embarrassed: it's a Slava Cruiser. I should have known that instinctively but I was bore focused looking at frigates and corvettes.
Twin 130mm will do it.
Even more fullbore.
UPDATE II - Electric Boogaloo: It appears these Chads may be alive.