Ukrainian forces launched an assault Tuesday that officials said dealt a “significant” blow to Snake Island in the Black Sea, one of the first Ukrainian positions to fall in the opening hours of the Russian invasion.
Ukraine’s southern operational command said late Tuesday that it had counterattacked Russian forces on the island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, using “various forces” and had “inflicted significant losses” on Russian troops positioned there, Ukrainian outlet Ukrinform reported.
The military said it had destroyed Russian air defenses and radar systems on the island. It was unclear Wednesday if Ukrainian troops had established a foothold on the island, or if the counterattack involved only long-range fire.
The strategic Black Sea outpost gained notoriety in the opening stages of the war, when Ukrainian troops defending the island told a pair of Russian warships to “go f–k [themselves]” when told to surrender.
Russian forces subsequently bombarded and invaded the island, taking many Ukrainian defenders prisoner.
Tuesday’s assault was part of a larger Ukrainian push to take back territory on the war’s southern front, where Kyiv’s southern command reported launching over 100 fire missions in the past 24 hours.