The Russian military said it had blocked several raids by Ukrainian forces on Zmiinyi Island, a key location off the Odessa coast.
“As of May 7, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army and advisers to the United States and Great Britain, under the direct orders of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, planned to seize the island of Zmiinyi. Russian units on the island foiled this plan,” the Russian Defense spokesman said of the Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, yesterday.
General Konashenkov said that the Ukrainian army conducted many air and sea strikes to retake the main Black Sea outpost island. “The thoughtless act of President Zelenskyy led to the death of more than 50 Ukrainian spies at sea and on the island’s coast during the landing process,” General Konashenkov said.
Zmiinyi Island has an area of about 17 hectares and is located on the Black Sea, about 35 km from the Oddessa coast. Before the war, the Ukrainian border guard stationed a garrison of about 100 border guards to protect the island.
Immediately after the launch of a special military operation to “demilitarize and defascize Ukraine” on February 24, Russia sent a warship near the island of Zmiinyy and demanded that the defense forces there surrender. The Ukrainian border guards then announced that Russia had taken over the island of Zmiinyy, the infrastructure on the island had been destroyed after airstrikes and shelling.
The Ukrainian side assumes that all the soldiers on Zmiinyy Island were killed in a battle with Russia. However, the Russian Defense Ministry later released a video showing 82 Ukrainian soldiers on Zmiinyy Island laying down their arms and surrendering. These soldiers were taken by Russia to the port of Sevastopol in Crimea and later returned to Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military has also repeatedly announced raids on Russian forces based on the island using a Bayraktar TB2 drone, destroying at least one light landing craft and a short-range Tor-M2 air defense system.
vu appendix (Corresponding Zvezda)