Are Russian troops forced to retreat from Snake Island? Or did Moscow command a withdrawal as a gesture of goodwill in order to encourage grain exports from the island?
Let’s try to separate the lies from the facts. Always remember that war fog shrouds everything.
Snake Island’s location in the Black Sea permits guns and missiles to be stationed there to control the waters through which most of Ukraine’s exports and imports pass. Or did before the war.
Russia occupied the island in the early stages, but the defiant Ukrainian troops made it a symbol of resistance.
According to Ukrainian legends, “Russian Ship, F*** You” was the semiofficial response to the Russian warship Moskva which ordered them off the island.
Needless to mention, Snake Island is a symbol of prestige and strategic importance.
Both sides claim victory, even if it is only a partial one.
“Unable to resist the fire of Ukraine’s artillery and missile strikes, the Russian army fled Snake Island,” said Valery Zaluzhny (commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces).
According to the Ukrainian army, the video shows a Ukrainian-developed Bohdana self-propelled howitzer measuring 155mm that destroyed Russian targets on the island.
Zaluzhny also thanked his “foreign partners” for providing the means of destruction.
The last Russian troops fled — some say they “fled” because of heavy fire — via speedboat on Thursday morning.
Moscow claims a moral victory
Russia’s defense ministry stated that it had successfully completed its tasks and was now tactically withdrawing in order to allow grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
The defense ministry stated that the Russian Federation had decided to abandon Zmiinyi Island in order to organize humanitarian grain corridors to implement joint agreements with the UN.
Yes, it’s true.
Russia could allow grain shipments to be sent while holding Snake Island. It’s simple. Let the world know that ships can pass, and then stop sinking them.
If your goal is to keep your enemy’s economy in check, then you must retain the island that is vital to your success. Moscow has not resisted violence in Ukraine, except for weapons of mass destruction.
This doesn’t mean that Russia suddenly has a greater awareness of the grain supply.
Economics aside, it is quite sad to retreat under heavy fire, then say, “I meant that!”
Moscow may get away with it in the next weeks, but this is propaganda. Shippers will continue to be cautious about approaching Ukrainian ports, regardless of who holds Snake Island. Although the Russian Navy may not have as much firepower in the Black Sea, it can still fend off unarmed freighters with the threat of some force.
Moscow can claim that Ukraine is responsible for grain shipments not being re-established if they do. Except for who has the advantage of finger-pointing, nothing will change.
However, materially, Russia still wanted the island. Russia tried to keep it, but Ukraine now has it back unless Russia retakes it.
This is the truth, no matter how many spins you make.