Ukrainian flag is hoisted above Snake Island after Russian retreat

Ukrainian flag is hoisted above Snake Island after Russian troops abandon the outpost

  • The Ukrainian flag has been hoisted on the strategic outpost of Snake Island
  • Russian troops occupied the outcrop on the Black Sea but retreated last Friday
  • A later Russian missile attack 21 people is perceived as payback for the retreat 

The Ukrainian flag has once again been hoisted on Snake Island in the Black Sea after Russian forces were forced to retreat from the strategic outpost last week.

The country’s military announced yesterday that the flag would be raised on the craggy outcrop as soon as Ukrainian troops arrived.

After earlier confusion over whether or not the flag was up, a picture was released in the afternoon by Andriy Yermak, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, showing the raised flag on Snake Island.  

An image released yesterday by Andriy Yermak, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, shows the Ukrainian national flag hoisted on Snake Island

The craggy outpost on the Black Sea had been the target of fierce fighting before Ukrainian forces successfully retook it

Some analysts have said Russia’s withdrawal from Snake Island off Ukraine’s southwestern coast could loosen its blockade on Ukrainian ports.

But a Kyiv-based foreign diplomat said it was still not enough to allow for safe transit of Ukrainian grain.

‘There is a requirement for demining, and Russia still has capabilities (military vessels, costal defence systems and air superiority) that will allow them to interdict shipping lanes,’ the diplomat said.

To unblock its ports so it can ship grain, Ukraine would need allied support and for Turkey to play a key role, the diplomat added.

Snake Island was captured by Russia in February and was the scene of a viral clip when a Ukrainian soldier told a Russian warship to ‘go f*** yourself’ when facing calls to surrender. 

His outburst became a popular slogan of resistance.

Russia said it had pulled out from Snake Island on Thursday as a ‘gesture of goodwill’ to show it was not obstructing United Nations attempts to open a humanitarian corridor allowing grain to be shipped from Ukraine.

Ukraine said it had driven the Russian forces out after an artillery and missile assault.

Russian forced were filmed withdrawing their personnel and equipment from Snake island on Friday

On Friday, a Russian military attack on a town named Serhiivka, near Odesa, was perceived by Ukrainian authorities as revenge for Russian troops being ousted from Snake Island a day earlier, The Guardian reports.

Two Russian missiles struck a multi-storey block of flats and a leisure centre, killing at least 21 people including two children. 

Ivan Bakanov, the head of Ukraine’s security service, the SBU, said: ‘The occupiers cannot win on the battlefield, so they resort to vile killing of civilians.

‘After the enemy was dislodged from Snake Island, [they] decided to respond with the cynical shelling of civilian targets.’

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