The Russians have disguised this new defeat as a gesture of "good will"

New setback for Russia: it withdraws from Snake Island after a new Ukrainian attack

This Thursday marks 18 weeks since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Far from fulfilling its objectives, Russia is staging a new withdrawal.

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Russia confirms withdrawal and disguises it as a “goodwill” gesture

This noon, at 12:38 CET, the Russian Defense Minister, lieutenant general Igor Konashenkov, confirmed the withdrawal of Russian forces from the strategic Snake Island, called Zmiiny by Ukraine, located in the Black Sea, 45 kilometers from the Ukrainian coast and south of the city of Odessa. The island, which is the sovereign territory of Ukraine, was invaded by the Russians at the beginning of the invasion. To seize the island, the Russians used their missile cruiser “Moskva”, later sunk by a Ukrainian attack.

Konashenkov has presented the withdrawal as a gesture of “good will”, a very cynical statement considering that Russia is occupying 20% of Ukraine’s territory and that it has committed numerous war crimes against the Ukrainian population. Konashenkov has also claimed that Russian forces have completed their tasks on the island. A very strange statement, considering the strategic importance of that site.

Hours earlier Ukraine had reported an attack on the island

The real reason for the Russian withdrawal is easy to find out. At 10:00 CET, the Operational Command “South” of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported the following: “Overnight, as a result of a successful military operation with our missile and artillery units on the Snake Island, the The enemy quickly evacuated the remnants of the garrison in two speedboats and probably abandoned the island. Zmiiny is currently covered in fire, explosions are heard. The final results of the operation are being investigated.” This statement was accompanied by this image of the island, with five columns of smoke rising from as many points as a result of the Ukrainian attack.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba commented on the Russian withdrawal with these words: “After Ukraine has defeated Russian invaders at the Snake Island, they present their retreat as a ‘gesture of good will’. They always downplay their defeats this way. Partners should not be wary of providing Ukraine with more heavy weapons so that we liberate more of our lands.”

The effects of sending Western rocket launchers to Ukraine

Precisely, this Ukrainian attack was carried out shortly after Ukraine received the American M-142 HIMARS rocket launchers, with a maximum range of 300 kilometers. These artillery systems are allowing Ukraine to hit targets at a greater distance and quite accurately, and it is possible that they were used in this attack on Snake Island.

Russia is unable to secure its dominance in the air and at sea

With this withdrawal, which is a severe setback for the invaders, Russia proves incapable of dominating Ukraine’s seaspace and airspace, as it intended at the beginning of the invasion four months ago. This is largely due to fierce Ukrainian resistance, aided by modern weapons systems, including surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles, which have caused considerable losses to the Russians on the island:

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