Russian forces have withdrawn from Ukraine’s Snake Island, a strategic outpost in the Black Sea, Russia’s defence ministry and Ukraine’s president’s office said on Thursday.
“KABOOM! No Russian troops on the Snake Island anymore. Our Armed Forces did a great job,” Andriy Yermak, head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office, wrote on Twitter.
Russia’s defence ministry confirmed Russian troops had withdrawn from Snake Island, calling it a “goodwill gesture” and saying the troops had fulfilled the tasks assigned to them.
The Russian ministry added the move showed Russia was not impeding U.N. efforts to organise a humanitarian corridor to export agricultural products out of Ukraine.
Snake Island, which Russia occupied on the first day of its invasion, achieved fame when Ukrainian border guards stationed there rejected a Russian warship’s demand for their surrender.
Ukraine’s southern military command wrote on Facebook that following a successful operation involving missile and artillery units, Russian forces had evacuated from Snake Island in two boats.
Reuters was not immediately able to verify the Ukrainian and Russian accounts.