Serpents’ Island became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance from the first day of the Russian offensive, when a member of the small Ukrainian garrison defending it ordered the Russian ship demanding its surrender to go “fuck off”. It is even more so since Russia announced, Thursday, June 30, that she was withdrawing from this small territory located in the northwest of the Black Sea, facing the mouth of the Danube.
According to the official Russian version, the decision was made “as a sign of goodwill”them “fixed goals” on site having been “accomplished” according to her. This would include, according to Moscow, to facilitate the transport of Ukrainian grain.
“Russia does not oppose UN efforts to create a humanitarian corridor to export grain production from Ukrainesaid Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. This decision will no longer allow kyiv to speculate on an impending food crisis by saying that it is impossible to export grain because of Russia’s total control over the northwest Black Sea. »
“Minimization” of the defeat, according to Ukraine
But Ukraine, which launched an attack on the island on June 21, refutes the idea of a voluntary initiative on the part of Russia. The Ukrainian army’s southern command said on Thursday that “the enemy fled in two speedboats”leaving the island ” in fire “ and or “explosions are still heard”. For the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kuleba, the Russians are trying to “minimize their defeat, as usual”.
The Ukrainian army was quick to congratulate itself on having forced the forces in Moscow, “unable to withstand the fire of [son] artillery and [ses] airstrikes »to leave the island. “I thank the defenders of the Odessa region who did their utmost to liberate a strategically important territory”wrote on Telegram the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny.
“Our armed forces have done a great job”also welcomed on Twitter Andriy Yermak, the head of the administration of the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky.
kyiv claimed responsibility for the destruction of a Russian Pantsir C1 anti-aircraft system and a radar station. An army clip shows the Turkish drone Bayraktar and the Ukrainian-designed 2S22 Bohdana self-propelled howitzer as the main architects of the destruction of Russian forces on Serpents’ Island.
Of the Russian Telegram channels refer instead to the French Caesar howitzer and the Soviet-designed Totchka-U ballistic missiles as “responsible for the increased artillery fire against the island, coming from the Odessa region”.
The 2S22 Bohdana, however, only fires at 40 kilometers, a distance less than that which separates the island from the Ukrainian coasts. The range of the Caesars’ shots is a little longer, but remains however limited for precise shots, especially since the guns were probably deployed back from the coast to be hidden by vegetation and therefore be less vulnerable to Russian fire. The role of the howitzers, however, remains plausible if they used new generation shells of the Excalibur type, guided by GPS and capable of hitting targets up to 40 kilometers with precision.
Reacting to the departure of the Russians, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister once again called on kyiv’s Western allies to “provide more heavy weapons” for “liberate more territories” occupied by Moscow.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson presented this Russian withdrawal as proof of “the incredible ability of the Ukrainians to fight back to overcome adversity and repel the Russians”. He said he was convinced that“in the end, it will prove impossible for Putin to subjugate a country that will not accept his domination”.