May. 11, 2022
Slava Ukraini! Heroiam slava!
I don't care on which side your sympathies lie with Russian actions inside the Ukraine, this May 05 attempt by Kiev to re-occupy Snake Island has been a tragic and a completely avoidable waste of life for Ukraine and her allies.
Snake Island (pictured above) is a little outcrop of rock in the Black Sea, sitting just off the coast of southern Ukraine, about equidistant to the eastern coast of Romania. It is approximately 630 meters across in either direction and its highest elevation ASL is 41 meters. This rock has served as a Russian lighthouse location for two hundred years, while more recently the Ukrainian governments have added civilian/navy infrastructure plus updated satellite navigation and communications equipment. It may be small but strategically it is vital for control of the western Black Sea.
At the beginning of this year, as the Russian 'special operation' began in the Ukraine, Snake Island was a top priority for the Russian navy and on the 24th of February their ships attacked Ukrainian forces stationed there.
Ukrainian media, and therefor our western media claimed that the thirteen people stationed on the island defended it bravely and fought to the last man to keep it. Those thirteen were hailed as 'martyrs' and 'heroes of the state' with medals awarded posthumously plus a Ukrainian postage stamp issued with a picture of a Ukrainian person 'flipping off' the Russian navy.
Sadly for the Ukrainian and western media efforts, but absolutely fantastic for the thirteen 'heroes', they showed up alive during a recent prisoner swap with Russia.
As you can imagine, those in control of Kiev did not take any of this well and to save face the island had to be re-taken. For days leading up to the May 05 full out assault, Ukrainian aircraft and drones had been firing at Russian positions now occupying the island and doing damage to air defence and communications equipment. It was Ukraine's intent to have the island in their possession by May 09, a day when Russia celebrates the defeat of Nazi Germany; Victory Day.
Independent media is reporting on news from the Russian Ministry of Defence and they say that,
“On May 5, the Ukrainian Air Force attempted to raid on the island. Ukrainian Mi-8 cargo helicopters and the Stanislav landing boat covered by UAVs and fighters reportedly reached the shores of the island.
According to the reports, at least two Su-24 and two Su-27 aircraft, as well as two more smaller warships were involved in the operation. At the moment of landing, Ukrainian forces were struck by Russian warships and aircraft.
A Ukrainian Su-24 bomber, a Su-27 fighter, three Mi-8 helicopters with landing troops and two Bayraktar-TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down over Snake Island. The Ukrainian amphibious assault boat Stanislav was also destroyed. The other Ukrainian forces retreated.”
As of this writing the island assault has cost Ukraine; “30 drones, 10 helicopters, four jets, three ships, and upwards of 50 troops.”
According to Russian media, Russian marines, “... noticed on Tuesday three more bodies of Ukrainian attackers that washed up on the beach, for a total of 27 special forces and nationalist battalion personnel that perished on the island itself."
During Monday’s briefing the Russian MOD said, “Ukrainian forces had lost three Su-24 bombers, one Su-27 fighter, four helicopters and three Centaur-class assault ships.”
On Tuesday, they updated those figures, saying that, “...three Mi-8 troop carriers and one Mi-24 attack helicopter were shot down on Saturday, while six more were later destroyed on the ground near Odessa, for a total of ten.”
Russia has called the assault a “...thoughtless public-relations action which resulted in the deaths of more than fifty elite Ukrainian troops, as well as pilots and crew of the destroyed aircraft and vessels.”
They go on to say that Ukrainian President Zelensky personally ordered the attack at the urging of British advisers and overruling the Ukrainian General Staff.
Those who are prolonging this action in Ukraine should be ashamed.