Russia-Ukraine war: The struggle for Snake Island

by | Jun 30, 2022 | World

Russian forces abandon the strategic Black Sea islet – a major victory for Ukraine that could also enable grain exports.A tiny Ukrainian islet has held the key to control for dominance of the eastern Black Sea since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.
Situated 48km (30 miles) off the coast, Snake Island, or Zmiinyi, was seized by Russia on the opening day of the full-scale invasion.

The occupation of Snake Island is of vital strategic importance as it enables the control of approach waters to Ukraine’s last three remaining commercial ports – including its main Black Sea port of Odesa, where a Russian blockade has prevented grain exports from one of the world’s main suppliers.
The island is also well known for an incident in which Ukrainian sailors stationed there reportedly told a Russian warship to “Go f*** yourself!” when it called on them to surrender on February 24, the day Moscow invaded Ukraine.
Yet after months under Russia’s control, Russian forces announced on Thursday that they had abandoned Snake Island – a significant victory for Ukraine.
Russia had long struggled to hold onto the island, as Ukraine launched repeated attacks to attempt to dislodge Russian forces.
Russia’s initial efforts to reinforce its presence on the island were partially successful. Air defence radar and anti-aircraft missiles helped fend off Ukrainian attacks as Russia tried to build the island up into a fortress capable of dominating the region’s air space and sea lanes.
Ukrainian air attacks on the island, while successful, proved costly as Russia shot down several TB2 armed drones.
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So Ukraine turned to it …

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