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Ukraine claims ‘significant’ Snake Island victory over Russian forces

Ukraine claims 'significant' Snake Island victory over Russian forces

Ukrainian forces claim to have scored a ‘significant’ victory against Russian forces after launching a new attempt to re-take Snake Island in the Black Sea. 

In a post on Facebook, Ukraine’s military’s southern operational command said it had used “aimed strikes with the use of various forces” on the island causing “significant losses” to Russian troops.

Satellite images provided by US-based Maxar Technologies shows an overview of Snake Island from Tuesday, with damage visible to the tower on the southern end of the island and burned vegetation in several locations.

Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform reported that attacks damaged the Russian Pantsir anti-aircraft system, a radar station and vehicles on the small island. 

The Ukrainian military said it had carried out a total of 150 attacks in various areas on Tuesday, killing 49 Russian soldiers. The figure cannot be independently confirmed.

The strategically important Snake Island, which belongs to Ukraine, was captured by Moscow at the start of the war. The outpost became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance after a radio exchange went viral at the start of the war, in which Ukrainian soldiers used an expletive in response to Russian demands they surrender.

Last week, Ukraine said it had sunk a Russian support ship called Vasili Beh, which was transporting crew and armaments to Snake Island.

According to the British Ministry of Defense, Ukraine successfully used Harpoon anti-naval missiles, which it has received from the West, for the first time in the attack.

In contrast Russia’s ministry of defence claims to have rebuffed what it called “a mad attempt by Kyiv forces to retake the island. It said drones and howitzers had been fired but all hand been intercepted.

Heavy fighting continues in eastern Donbas region

Meanwhile heavy fighting continues in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. 

In the latest British military intelligence assessment on Wednesday morning, the Ministry of Defence says there is heavy shelling as Russian forces push to envelop the Sievierodonetsk area via Izium in the north and Popasna in the south. 

“Russia is highly likely preparing to attempt to deploy a large number of reserve units to the Donbas,” the briefing says. 

The assessment also looks at Russian casualty figures and notes that while the Russian government hasn’t released any casualty numbers since the end of March, the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) publishes casualty figures for their own forces which shows a total of dead and wounded soldiers around 55% of its original forces. 

This “highlights the extraordinary attrition Russian and pro-Russian forces are suffering in the Donbas,” the MoD said.

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