Russian troops left Snake Island after an attack by Ukrainian forces
30 June, 2022
Fire on Snake Island after Ukrainian attack on Russian troops Operational Command South

On the night of June 30, the Ukrainian force conducted the next stage of a military operation targeting Russian missile and artillery units on Snake Island. Russia hastily evacuated the remnants of the garrison in two speedboats leaving the island, reports Operational Command South.

The attack caused a fire on Snake Island. The final results of the operation are being "investigated," says the command.

The Kremlin-owned media outlet RIA Novosti says that Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed the retreat of the Russian forces from Snake Island, calling it a "gesture of goodwill." Russia claims its troops had "completed their tasks on Snake Island and withdrawn the garrison stationed there."

"It demonstrates to the world community that Russia does not hinder the efforts of the United Nations to organize a humanitarian corridor for the export of agricultural products from the territory of Ukraine," the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Andrii Yermak, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, said that Russia's statement was a lie, as the Ukrainian Armed Forces drove the Russian forces out of Snake Island, and the occupying forces attacked the Ukrainian grain warehouse in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast in the morning of June 30.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, thanked the defenders of Odesa Oblast, who drove the occupiers out of the island, and the designers and manufacturers of the Ukrainian self-propelled howitzer "Bohdana," which played an important role in liberating the island. "Thanks to foreign partners for the provided means of destruction. Thank you to everyone who helps to defend every meter of Ukrainian land and believes in the Armed Forces of Ukraine," Zaluzhnyi said.

Capture of Snake Island

Russian troops captured Snake Island on the first day of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Back then, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine reported that after Russian forces shelled Snake Island with naval weapons and combat aircraft, the infrastructure on the island was destroyed, and communication with Ukrainian border guards was lost.

On February 28, the Ukrainian Navy reported that the naval infantry and border guards captured by the Russian occupiers on Snake Island were alive. The naval infantry repulsed Russian attacks twice but could not continue to defend the island.

In March, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that some of the Ukrainian service members on the island had lost their lives, and the rest that had been taken prisoner was exchanged.

After the island's capture, the Ukrainian forces regularly reported on the destruction of Russian equipment based on the Snake Island. Kyrylo Budanov, Chief of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, said that Ukraine would fight for the island "as much as it is needed."

Ukrainian intelligence explains that Snake island is strategically important in terms of Russia's ability to conduct naval landing operations. Theoretically, this is the only region through which Russian troops can try to land on the territory of "Transnistria." The force which controls the island can at any moment block the movement of civilian vessels in all directions to southern Ukraine.