Russia has withdrawn its Army from Snake Island, a strategic Ukrainian island in the Black Sea, which it had occupied at the beginning of the invasion more than four months ago. Ukraine has claimed the move as a victory for its troops, which could loosen Russia’s blockade on grain exports.
The Russian Defense Ministry has justified the decision to withdraw as a “goodwill gesture” which would show that Moscow is not obstructing the efforts of the United Nations to organize a humanitarian corridor that allows grain to be exported from Ukraine.
“This decision will prevent kyiv from speculating on a looming food crisis due to the impossibility of exporting grain due to Russia’s total control over the northwestern part of the Black Sea,” said the military spokesman, Igor Konashénkov, in the department’s official Telegram account.
Ukraine assures that “the enemy hastened to evacuate” after its latest offensive
The Ukrainian version, on the other hand, maintains that they have expelled the Russian forces after a massive assault with artillery overnight. “KABOOM!” tweeted Andriy Yermak, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff. “There are no longer any Russian troops on Snake Island. Our Armed Forces have done a great job.”
The military command of southern Ukraine has posted on Facebook an image of what appeared to be the island, seen from the air, with five huge columns of black smoke that towered over her, which would correspond to the assault with missiles and artillery.
“The enemy hastened to evacuate the remains of the garrison with two speedboats and probably abandoned the island. Currently, the Serpent Island is consumed by fire, explosions are breaking out,” they pointed out.
The information from both sides has not yet been verified on the ground.
a strategic island
The island has a great strategic value, since whoever dominates it has control of the sea, land and air in the northwestern part of the Black Sea and southern Ukraine, with the important port city of Odessa within artillery range.
With a length of 662 meters and a width of 440 meters, it housed Russian air defense complexes, three units of rocket artillery systems, a group of boats and special forces units, according to the Department of Military Intelligence of Ukraine (GUR). .
In addition, the bloc for the war has prevented grain exports from Ukraine, one of the world’s leading suppliers, creating a global food supply crisis and risk of famine.
Russia occupied the island on the first day of the war and it was there that a Ukrainian guard who was ordered to surrender responded by radio with the middle finger raised: “Russian warship: fuck you.” The incident was immortalized on a Ukrainian stamp, which was issued on the same day that its Army sank the Russian flagship, the ‘Moskva’, in the Black Sea.