Russian troops have withdrawn from the infamous Snake Island, also known as Zmiyny Island, after the strategically important territory came under “massive” missile and artillery strikes from Ukrainian forces, UAMap live reports.
This morning, Thursday June 30, Ukrainian forces launched a new wave of long-range strikes against the Russian Federation (RF)-occupied island of Zmiyny, with a statement from the Joint Forces South (JFS) confirming that the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) missile and artillery units executed at least 150 fire missions against the 1.5 square kilometer island.
Russian forces occupied the strategic western Black Sea island on the first day of the war against Ukraine.
According to international and UAF estimates, the Kremlin positioned powerful anti-aircraft and anti-ship missile systems on Zmiyny. The JFS statement said the Ukrainian strikes destroyed an S-300 Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft system, three howitzers, three vehicles, causing at least 40 casualties, and set fire to a fuel storage depot. RF-associated news platforms made no early comment on the UAF claims.
The island has been fiercely contested by both sides, with Ukraine having carried out extensive attacks there against the Russian occupiers over the past four months. The outpost became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance after a radio exchange went viral early in the war in which Ukrainian soldiers used an expletive in response to Russian demands for the Moskva missile carrier to surrender .
Last week, Ukraine said it sank the Russian support vessel Vasili Beh, which was carrying crew and armaments to Snake Island.
According to the British Ministry of Defence, Ukraine successfully used anti-naval Harpoon missiles, received from the West, for the first time in the attack.
In May, Ukrainian drones sank two Russian patrol boats near the island, and Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said: “The Bayraktars [drones] working.”
The arrival of US-made rocket launchers and Harpoon missiles has further aided Ukrainian forces in their attempts to retake the island, with this morning’s announcement signaling that Russian forces have completely abandoned the territory.