Several Ukrainian soldiers who were trying to plant their national flag in the Snake Island were killed after Russian warplanes attacked it, Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov has alleged.
At about 5am, several Ukrainian servicemen landed on the island from a motor boat and were photographed with a flag. “Russian Air Force aircraft immediately launched a strike with high-precision missiles on the Snake Island, as a result of which some of the Ukrainian military personnel were destroyed. The survivors fled in the direction of the Primorskoye settlement in the Odessa region," Konashenkov said at a press briefing July 7.
According to him, an attempt to deliver the flag to the island was made by the Ukrainian military "against the backdrop of military failures and a massive retreat of Ukrainian troops in the Donbas."
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s defense ministry posted a picture on Twitter showing the flag planted at Snake Island.
On Facebook, Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces confirmed the destruction of 30 units of enemy equipment on Snake Island. "The Special Operations Forces’ units completed the task of clearing Snake Island. The destruction of about 30 units of enemy equipment was confirmed, abandoned ammunition and vast ruins were discovered as a usual sign of ‘Russian world’,” the military said.
Snake Island, located in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, came under the control of the Russian military in February. On June 30, Konashenkov said that Russia had voluntarily withdrawn the military from the island as a "gesture of goodwill" to prove it was not obstructing grain exports, a claim Ukraine vehemently rejects.
Ukraine says it pushed Russia out of the strategically important island by applying significant military pressure, something the U.S. Defense Department supports.