In the hours of darkness on June 27, the Ukrainian army struck Russian-occupied Snake Island in the Black Sea, hitting Russian positions on the tiny islet with 10 rockets that precisely hit their targets, the Ukrainian military said.
Nataliya Gumenyuk, the spokeswoman for Operational Command South, described the attack during a news briefing, Kyiv-based Ukrainian news agency Interfax-Ukraine reported on June 27.
“We are continuing our operation on Snake Island,” Gumenyuk said. “This past night, our army hit the island with 10 high-precision strikes, and now we’re looking into the degree of damage (to the Russian forces). We have an initial report on this that says a Russian Pantsir-S1 air defense system was hit.”
According to Gumenyuk, Ukraine’s military operation to liberate Snake Island is a long-term one and won’t end until the territory comes back under full Ukrainian control.
This operation has been going on for some time. On June 20, media reports described heavy explosions on Snake Island that led to the fire spreading across its territory. Evidence suggested that Ukrainian missiles or rockets had produced the explosions.
On the next day, Operational Command South confirmed it had carried out a rocket attack on Snake Island. After this, satellite data provided by Maxar Technologies, a U.S. aerospace company, showed images of the damage done to Russian positions on the small Black Sea island.
In the Black Sea region, Russia controls several Ukrainian territories, including Crimea and Snake Island. The Russian military fleet stationed in the Black Sea is blocking Ukrainian exports by sea, causing a decline in the commercial activity of the ports of Odesa, Illichivsk, Mykolayiv, and Kherson – the latter city now occupied by the Russian army.
While Crimea remains an important military reserve base for the Russian operation in Ukraine’s south, Snake Island is a strategic point in the western part of the Black Sea.
Tension in the Black Sea is widely condemned by democratic countries, as this used to be an important maritime environment for commercial activity.