Thursday, August 4, 2022

Russia retreats from Snake Island after artillery strikes by Ukraine’s military

Russian troops withdrew from Snake Island in the western Black Sea after artillery strikes by Ukraine’s military.

Russian troops were reportedly forced to leave the tiny island after massive artillery strikes by the Ukrainian military in recent weeks.

Ukraine’s military said a barrage of Ukrainian artillery and missile strikes forced the Russians to flee the island in two speedboats and deprived Moscow of a strategic outpost for its air defenses and electronic warfare systems.

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The tiny island became emblematic on the first day of the Russian offensive when a member of the small Ukrainian garrison defending it used an expletive in response to Russian demands they surrender.

Andriy Yermak, head of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s office, hailed the Russian withdrawal. “KABOOM!” he tweeted. “No Russian troops on the Snake Island anymore. Our Armed Forces did a great job.”

But, Russia’s defense ministry said its withdrawal from the island—which is called “a symbol of goodwill”—demonstrates that Russia doesn’t interfere with the export of grain.

Naval analyst H I Sutton was skeptical about the statement of the Russian Ministry of Defense.

“This is confusing since a blockade is not dependent on Snake Island at all. If Russia wanted to let the grain ships past all they would have to do is not shoot,” Sutton said.

Defense analyst Tyler Rogoway, in turn, noted that the Russian military and its much-touted Black Sea Fleet couldn’t secure an island 170 miles from its homeport from a war-torn adversary with fixed-wing combat aircraft numbering in the dozens and no real operable Navy is an absolute stunning failure of massive proportions.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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