Russian forces withdraw from strategic Snake Island
Moscow, Jun 30 (EFE).- Russia said Thursday that its troops had withdrawn from Snake Island, a strategic outpost in the Black Sea which had been occupied by Russian forces for over four months.
The Russian defense ministry said the move was a sign of “goodwill” to demonstrate to the international community that Moscow did not want to interfere with grain exports from Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea.
“On 30 June, as a sign of goodwill, the Russian armed forces fulfilled their objectives on Snake Island and withdrew their garrison there,” Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov wrote on Telegram.
“Russia does not oppose UN efforts to create a humanitarian corridor to export grain from Ukraine,” he added.
The rocky island, located some 45 kilometers off the Ukrainian and Romanian coasts in the Black Sea, was seized by Moscow at the start of the invasion in Ukraine in late February.
Snake Island became an emblem of Ukrainian resistance after a Ukrainian border guard resisted Russian demands for him and his 12 companions to surrender.
The position of the island is strategic as it dominates control of land, sea and air in the northwestern part of the Black Sea and southern Ukraine. The city of Odesa, Ukraine’s main port, is within artillery range.EFE