‘Kaboom’: Russia Withdraws From Ukraine’s Snake Island

Ukraine said it had forced Russia off the strategically and symbolically important Black Sea island, while Russia said it was pulling out as a “goodwill gesture.”

Russia has withdrawn its forces from Snake Island, the strategically located island in the Black Sea made famous at the start of a war by a Ukrainian soldier stationed there telling a Russian warship to “go fuck yourself." 

While Russia said it was pulling out as a “gesture of goodwill” to allow Ukraine to export grain, Ukraine said it had forced the withdrawal with a relentless aerial bombardment.

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The Black Sea outpost was seized early in the war, but last week satellite pictures showed Ukrainian attacks had destroyed a tower and damaged a radar system, Russian vehicles and a Pantsir anti-aircraft system. 

“On June 30, as a gesture of goodwill, the Russian armed forces completed their tasks on Snake Island and withdrew a garrison stationed there,” Russia’s defence ministry said on Thursday morning.  

It added: "The Russian Federation is not hampering the UN's efforts to organise a humanitarian corridor to ship farming produce out of Ukraine".

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However, Andriy Yermak, head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office, posted a defiant tweet in response to the news of the withdrawal.

“KABOOM! No Russian troops on the Snake Island anymore. Our Armed Forces did a great job. More kaboom news to follow,” he wrote. 

An error occurred while retrieving the Tweet. It might have been deleted.

Snake Island, or Zmiinyi, was a vital target for Russia despite its tiny size of just 43 hectares (106 acres) as it gives land, sea and air control in the Black Sea. 

The island took on a mythical status in February after Ukrainian border guard Roman Hrybov responded to an order from Russia's mighty Moskva ship to surrender with, "Russian warship, go fuck yourself." All 30 of the island's guards were seized by Russia and later returned to Ukraine via a prisoner exchange.

Ukraine is embroiled in a grain export crisis, and accuses Russia of stealing its produce and sparking a global food shortage. Ukraine is the world's fifth-biggest exporter of wheat and number one exporter of sunflower oil. 

Tagged:

russia, SNAKE ISLAND, Ukraine War, worldnews

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