Ukrainian forces push out Russian troops from strategic Black Sea isle of Snake Island in big win for war-torn nation.
Ukraine is celebrating a significant victory after its troops were able to force out President Vladimir Putin’s soldiers from a strategic area as the war-torn nation pleaded for more military weapons to “liberate our lands”.
Ukraine is celebrating a major win in the war with Russia after its troops forced out President Vladimir Putin’s soldiers occupying the strategic isle of Snake Island.
Kyiv claimed it used massive artillery in an assault overnight that saw the Moscow troops quickly flee the isle.
Aerial photos showed columns of black smoke billowing from the small island seized by Russian forces on the first day of the invasion.
Ukraine’s southern military command reported the isle was “consumed by fired and explosions”, which forced the opposition to “hurriedly evacuate” on two speed boats.
“KABOOM!” Andriy Yermak, chief of staff for Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, tweeted overnight about the success of driving out the enemy.
“No Russian troops on the Snake Island anymore. Our Armed Forces did a great job.
“More kaboom news to follow. All will be Ukraine.”
The Russian Defense Ministry argued it withdrew its troops as a “gesture of goodwill” to show it was not obstructing the humanitarian efforts of the United Nations.
“In order to organise humanitarian grain corridors as part of the implementation of joint agreements reached with the participation of the UN, the Russian Federation decided to leave its positions,” it said.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba rubbished the claims from Moscow saying it was ” always downplaying” their defeat.
He also urged leaders of the world to “not be wary” of providing Ukraine with more military weapons to “liberate our lands”.
Oleksii Hromov, brigadier-general in Ukraine’s armed forces, said there were no Ukrainian forces on the island yet but stressed “they will be, believe me”.
ANU’s George Brandis says Russian President Vladimir Putin has, through his “epic miscalculation”, united the West more “steadfastly” and firmly against him. He said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has “provoked” Sweden and Finland to join NATO. “Something that was unthinkable even six months ago,” he told Sky News Australia.
Snake Island, or otherwise known as Zmiinyi, is an isle owned by Ukraine and found in the Black Sea, south of the port city of Odesa and 48 kilometres off the coast.
It is seen as a key strategic part of the invasion as it allows the control of sea lanes to Ukraine’s remaining three ports, including the Black Sea port.
The island became known around the world after an audio clip was released of the encounter between Ukrainian soldiers on the island and a Russian warship.
“This is a Russian warship,” the ship allegedly broadcasted.
“I propose you lay down your weapons and surrender to avoid bloodshed and unnecessary victims. Otherwise you will be bombed.”
Ukrainian troops could be heard discussing what they would do before they agreed to stand their ground.
“Russian warship, go f*** yourself,” one responded.
The soldiers miraculously survived despite being attacked by the warship, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence said days later.
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