Russian Army Announces Withdrawal From Snake Island
The Russian army is withdrawing from Snake Island, an islet off the coast of the Ukrainian port city of Odesa that is strategically important for controlling the western Black Sea.
The Russian Defense Ministry announced this on Thursday.
The island, no more than a rock about two football fields in size, came into the hands of the Russians at the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine. In recent weeks, the Ukrainians have been carrying out heavy bombing raids to regain control.
Moscow says the withdrawal is a sign of “goodwill”. This should make the export of Ukrainian grain easier, it says. “Russia does not oppose the efforts of the United Nations to establish a humanitarian corridor that would allow grain exports from Ukraine,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
“With this decision, Kyiv will no longer be able to speculate about an imminent food crisis by saying that it is impossible to export grain because of Russia’s total control over the northwestern Black Sea,” Konashenkov said.