Ukrainian forces destroyed the remains of Russian military equipment on Snake Island after they forced the invaders to abandon the area.
Ukrainian fighter jets and a drone belonging to the Ukrainian Navy targeted and destroyed Russian military equipment on the island.
The footage was obtained from the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny, 48, on Saturday, 2nd July, along with a statement saying: “With yesterday’s airstrikes, the Russians tried to destroy their equipment, weapons and property on Snake Island. However, as is tradition, they did not cope with the task.
“We ‘helped’ the invaders to finally evacuate the remnants of their garrison from our island.
It no longer smells of ‘Russian spirit’ there.”
The footage and statement were also relayed by the Office of Strategic Communications (StratCom) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Zaluzhny also conveyed his heartfelt wishes to the citizens of the United States on Monday, July 4, saying: “On behalf of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and on my own behalf, I convey my heartfelt wishes to the American people on the anniversary of the United States Declaration of Independence.
“I wish you every success in your future endeavors, prosperity, much happiness and robust health.
I highly appreciate assistance and contribution provided by the United States of America to Ukraine during this hard time. We value your nation as a strategic partner who shares common principles – protecting innocent people, sovereign territory, democracy, is what really matters.
“May the years to come yield further cooperation and reciprocity between our countries and our Armed Forces.”
Zaluzhny said last week: “Unable to withstand the fire of our artillery, missile and air strikes, the occupiers left Snake Island.”
The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) had claimed, via state media, that they had left Snake Island as a “gesture of goodwill”. The Russian MoD claimed: “On June 30, the Russian Armed Forces made a gesture of goodwill and completed the tasks on Zmiinyi Island and withdrew the garrison that was there.”
Snake Island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, is part of Ukraine and is located in the Black Sea.
But Andriy Yermak, 50, the Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, derided the Russian statement, saying: “All this is a complete fake. First, the Ukrainian Armed Forces drove the Russians out of Snake Island. Secondly, the Russians are shelling warehouses with our grain. In the morning, a warehouse in the Dnipropetrovsk region was fired upon. Russia continues to provoke a food crisis and lie. They are still blocking our ports and destroying grain.
Snake Island made international headlines, at the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on Thursday, February 24, when a group of Ukrainian soldiers famously told a Russian warship that was demanding their surrender that it could “go f**k itself”.
The Russian warship is said to have demanded: “Snake Island, I, Russian warship, repeat the offer: put down your arms and surrender, or you will be bombed. Have you understood me? Do you copy?”
But the Ukrainians replied: “Russian warship, go f**k yourself.”
The Russians then opened fire on the Ukrainian positions. It was at first thought that the Russians had pounded the Ukrainian soldiers into oblivion but it later emerged that they survived. They were detained by the Russians and regained their freedom during a prisoner exchange in late March before being given medals for their bravery.
The ship that had asked the Ukrainians to surrender, the Moskva, was later damaged. It then sank, with the Ukrainians claiming that it had been hit by their Neptune anti-ship missiles. The Russians, however, claimed that a fire on board had caused the ship’s munitions to explode and that it had sunk while being towed to port.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is calling a “special military operation”. July 4 marks the 131st day of the invasion.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and July 4, Russia had lost about 36,200 personnel, 1,589 tanks, 3,754 armored combat vehicles, 804 artillery units, 246 multiple launch rocket systems, 105 air defense systems, 217 warplanes, 187 helicopters, 658 drones, 144 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 2,629 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 65 units of special equipment.
Russia has said that it has captured the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk, in the Sievierodonetsk Raion of the Luhansk Oblast region. This has now also been confirmed by Ukraine’s military, who said they had withdrawn their troops from the city after heavy fighting in order to “preserve the lives of the defenders”.
Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has said that Ukrainian forces would retake the city “thanks to the increase in the supply of modern weapons”.
The fall of Lysychansk comes just over a week after the nearby city of Sievierodonetsk fell to the Russians.
Sloviansk, an eastern Ukrainian city in the Donetsk Oblast region, was hit by shelling on Sunday, resulting in the deaths of at least six people, with 20 others injured, according to the city’s mayor, Vadim Lyakh.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has visited Kyiv, with Australia vowing to send over $100 million in new aid to Ukraine.
Turkish authorities have detained a Russian cargo ship carrying grain allegedly stolen from Ukraine. The ship is said to contain over 7,000 tons of grain that Russian officials said would be sent to “friendly” countries.
Ukraine has dismissed Russian claims that its forces targeted civilian areas in the city of Belgorod, in Russia, killing three people.
Russian state media has claimed that two more Britons captured by Russian troops in Ukraine have been charged with mercenary activities. They have been named as Dylan Healy, a chef who had been volunteering as an aid worker, and Andrew Hill, who was shown by Russia in military uniform.
The announcement comes after two other British men, Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, were sentenced to death last month.
The European Court of Human Rights intervened, demanding for the sentences not to be carried out but this was rejected by Russia, saying that it would not be implementing the court’s decisions anymore and that the decision to execute the men lies with the pro-Russian, so-called Donetsk People’s Republic.
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