Ukraine’s Air Force reported a downed Russian Su-24M bomber aircraft as it attempted to launch missiles towards targets in Odesa Oblast, the Commander of Ukraine’s Air Force said in a post on Telegram on December 5, 2023.
Lieutenant General Mykola Oleschuk stated that a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile took down the aircraft using RBS-70 MANPAD, as Russia’s military planned to strike the southern part of Odesa Oblast.
Strikes against targets in Odesa Oblast have become a frequent occurrence since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Situated on the Black Sea, Odesa serves as a central port for trade in the region.
Snake Island, located 35 kilometers from the mainland of Odesa Oblast, is synonymous with Ukrainian resistance. On Feb. 24, 2022, at the onset of Russia’s full-scale invasion, a Ukrainian border guard famously responded, “Russian warship, go f*** yourself,” when prompted to surrender by Russia’s navy.
Occupying Snake Island effectively allowed Russian forces to launch a blockade of Odesa’s Black Sea ports and direct missile attacks against Ukraine until April 14, 2022, when Ukraine successfully sunk the Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
President Volodymyr Zelensky marked 500 days of Russia’s full-scale war by visiting the island earlier this year with a video filmed on Snake Island, promising that Ukraine will reclaim every part of its territory currently occupied by Russia.
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