Invading Russian troops were forced to flee the strategic Black Sea outpost of Snake Island on speedboats Thursday, in a major victory for Ukraine.
Snake Island, which Russia seized on the first day of its invasion, made international headlines after Ukrainian border guards stationed there told an invading Russian warship to “go f–k yourself.”
“KABOOM! No Russian troops on the Snake Island anymore. Our Armed Forces did a great job,” Andriy Yermak, head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office, tweeted.
Ukraine’s southern military command insisted that Russian forces had evacuated from Snake Island — also known as Zmiinyi Island — in two speed boats following a sustained Ukrainian operation involving missile and artillery units.
Russia’s defense ministry also confirmed that Russian troops had withdrawn from the Black Sea outpost — but claimed it was a “goodwill gesture” because troops had fulfilled their assigned tasks.
The Russian ministry added that the move showed Russia wasn’t impeding United Nation efforts to organize a humanitarian corridor to export grain and agriculture out of Ukraine.
Neither country’s account of what happened could immediately be verified.
It comes after Ukraine’s southern military command revealed last week it had dealt a “significant” blow to Russian troops by destroying the Kremlin’s air defenses and radar systems on the island.
But Russian authorities dismissed those claims, insisting that its air defenses on the island had repelled Ukrainian forces.
Snake Island — a strategic outpost on just 40 acres of rock — gained notoriety in the opening hours of the war on Feb. 24 when an audio clip emerged of the exchange between Ukrainian and Russian forces.
“This is a Russian warship,” an unidentified voice could be heard saying. “I propose you lay down your weapons and surrender to avoid bloodshed and unnecessary victims. Otherwise you will be bombed.”
“Russian warship, go f–k yourself,” the Ukrainians replied — quickly becoming a battle cry for Ukrainian troops.
With Post wires