Kyiv recaptures Snake Island as Russian troops abandon strategic Black Sea outpost

Russian troops abandoned the strategic Black Sea outpost on Snake Island on Thursday, winning a Ukrainian victory that could loosen the grip of Russia’s blockade at the Ukrainian port.

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Russia has decided to withdraw from the outcrops of the southwest coast of Ukraine as a “good faith gesture” to show that Moscow has not interfered with the UN’s attempt to open a humanitarian corridor to allow the transportation of grain from Ukraine. Said.

Ukraine said it drove Russian army I went out all night after the artillery and missile attacks.

“Kaboom!” Tweeted Andrey Jermac, Chief of Staff of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “There are no more Russian troops on Snake Island. Our troops did a great job.”

But in contrast, Ukrainian officials in the eastern Luhansk region, who fought fiercely, explained the difficulties of Ukrainian troops in the city of Lysychans’k on Thursday.

Russian artillery fired from different directions while Russian troops approached from different sides, regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Ukrainian television.

“Because it’s so dangerous, residents are told to stay in underground shelters indefinitely,” Guydai said.

Officials from the pro-Russian separatist regime in Luhansk told RIA Communications that the Lysychans’k oil refinery is now fully controlled by Russian and pro-Russian forces, and all roads to Lysychans’ are under their control. Said. Ukraine says the main roads are almost impassable due to combat, but the city is not yet completely blocked.

In a nightly video speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commented on both Snake Island and the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblast regions on the Russian border.

The restoration of Snake Island was important to the Black Sea situation, but “it does not yet guarantee security. It does not yet guarantee that the enemy will not return,” he said.

In Luhansk and Donetsk, the Russians “just brought all the reserves to attack us,” Zelensky said.

Russian firepower

Russian troops have been trying to surround Lysychans’k since last week occupying Siebiel Donetsk on the other side of the Siverskyi Donets after several weeks of fierce fighting.

Russia has focused its firepower on occupying cities and towns in the Donbus region.

Despite the last few weeks of giving up ground in Donbus and suffering punishable losses, Ukraine hopes to do enough damage to exhaust Russia’s advancing troops. Ukrainian troops have launched a counterattack in the southern part of the region.

Both Gaidai and Zelenskiy mentioned Russia’s overwhelming superiority in equipment and artillery in the battle of Lysychans’k. Western allies in Ukraine are sending weapons, and the Kieu government has been further boosted by providing the United States with an additional $ 800 million in weapons and military aid.

In a statement after the NATO summit in Madrid, US President Joe Biden said Washington and its allies had united to confront Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

“I don’t know how it will end, but Russia won’t end up beating Ukraine,” Biden said in a press conference. “We will support Ukraine as much as necessary.”

When President Putin visited Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) on Thursday, one of SVR’s main missions is to obtain timely information on foreign military and geo-strategic plans that could threaten Russia. He said that.

Smoke and fire

Snake Island was retaken by Ukraine a few weeks after the momentum of the conflict four months ago seemed to shift in favor of Russia.

The Ukrainian army posted an image on Facebook that looks like an island from the sky. There are several rows of black smoke on it.

“The enemy hastily evacuated the wreckage of the garrison on two speedboats and probably left the island. Now Snake Island has been destroyed by fire and an explosion has exploded,” he said.

Brigadier General Oleksii Hromov said Ukrainian troops have not yet occupied the island, but will.

The rocky outcrops overlook the sea lanes to Odesa, Ukraine’s main Black Sea port. Here, Russia is blocking food cargo from the world’s leading grain suppliers.

After Russia occupied the island on the first day of the war, it attracted the attention of the world. A Ukrainian guard ordered to surrender by the Russian flagship cruiser Moscow replied wirelessly, “Russian warship, let’s do it ourselves.”

Lifting the blockade was a major Western goal. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has accused Russia of deliberately causing world hunger as “blackmail.”

Moscow has denounced the blockade of the port and accused food shortages of western sanctions stating that it would limit its exports.

“We do not block Ukrainian grain exports. Ukrainian troops have mined an approach to their port. No one prevents them from clearing those mines, and we harvest grain from there. We guarantee the safety of transportation, “Putin said Thursday.

Some military experts said driving Russians from Snake Island was not enough to lift the blockade of the harbor.

“Does that mean a sudden stream of grain? No, it’s not,” said Marcus Faulkner, a lecturer at King’s College London’s Department of War Studies.

Russia has been defending the island since February, despite allegations that Ukraine caused serious damage, sank supply vessels and destroyed a Russian fortress.

New weapons sent from the West made the Russian garrison even more vulnerable. In particular, HIMARS, a US-supplied rocket system that Ukraine launched last week, has become even more vulnerable. Russia’s abandonment of the island “is likely a concrete result of NATO’s delivery of weapons to Ukraine,” said Rob Li, a US-based foreign policy institute. Kyiv recaptures Snake Island as Russian troops abandon strategic Black Sea outpost

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