Russian forces withdraw from Snake Island following heavy shelling
30 June 2022
Image Credit: Фотонак, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
On 30 June, Russia retreated from Snake Island, a critical Black Sea outpost and one of the main symbols of Ukrainian defiance. Russia issued a litany of claims around its retreat. CIR uncovered how Russia has manipulated the information environment in order to avoid the humiliation of losing Snake Island, a territory of geostrategic and symbolic importance, and to place blame on Ukraine and the West for the global food crisis.
Chronological analysis of Ukraine’s targeting of Russian military positions on the island and their resupply routes indicates that Ukraine’s steady pressure was the likely main trigger of their withdrawal. After the start of the withdrawal by Russian forces, several official sources [Ukrainian and Russian] stated that Russia continued targeting the island. This supports the idea that Russia had not given up militarily, contradicting claims made by the Russian MOD. Although Russia claims it does not want to disrupt the export of grain from Ukraine, visual evidence analysed during this investigation suggests otherwise.
Eyes on Russia