Ukrainian president visits strategic Zmiinyi Island in Black Sea

Ukrainian president visits strategic Zmiinyi Island in Black Sea

Volodymyr Zelenskyy marks 500th day of Russia-Ukraine war by visiting strategic island in Black Sea

ANKARA (AA) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday visited the strategic Zmiinyi (Snake) Island in the Black Sea.

In a video, published on Twitter, Zelenskyy said that today is the 500th day of the Russia-Ukraine war and thanked everyone who is fighting for Ukraine.

“Today we are on Snake Island. … Although this is a small piece of land in the middle of our Black Sea, it is a great proof that Ukraine will regain every bit of its territory,” he said.

On Feb. 24, 2022, Russia captured the island, claiming the Ukrainian garrison surrendered without any resistance. The Ukrainian military made numerous attempts to take back the island.

On June 30, 2022, the Russian Defense Ministry announced to withdraw from the island as a “gesture of goodwill.” But experts said it was difficult to defend the territory of 0.2 square kilometers (0.08 square miles) with no natural hideouts.

According to Kyiv, while departing, Russians suffered heavy losses due to Ukrainian attacks.

According to the Center for European Policy Analysis, military control of the island and surrounding waters affects all shipping routes connecting Ukraine to the rest of the world through the Black Sea, as well as those linking continental Europe to the Black Sea basin through the Danube.

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