Russia says it has withdrawn its military from Snake Island in the Black Sea

NEW DELHI Updated: Jun 30, 2022, 02:58 PM(IST)

File photo: A satellite image shows an overview of Snake Island, Ukraine, June 21, 2022. (Maxar Technologies/Handout) Photograph:( Reuters )

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The Russian military says its has withdrawn its forces from Snake Island, in the Black Sea near Odesa.

The important Black Sea outpost of Snake Island has been evacuated, according to the Russian military. For both sides in the conflict, the small patch of land in the Black Sea next to the Ukrainian port city of Odesa has acquired symbolic significance.

The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it had finished the tasks it had been given and was strategically pulling back to provide room for grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

The Russian Federation decided to abandon its positions on Zmeiny Island "in order to organise humanitarian grain corridors as part of the fulfilment of mutual agreements agreed with the cooperation of the UN," the defence ministry stated.

Ukraine claims recapture

Ukraine, on the other hand, claimed to have forced Russian forces to escape overnight on two speed boats. The statement from Ukraine's southern command claimed that combat was still going on since it was still possible to hear explosions and see smoke covering the island.

The island has reportedly been recaptured by Ukraine, weakening any potential Russian ground strike on that section of its coastline.

The head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's office, Andriy Yermak also confirmed that Russian forces had withdrawn from Snake Island.

"KABOOM! No Russian troops on the Snake Island anymore. Our Armed Forces did a great job," Yermak wrote on Twitter.

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