An attempt by Ukrainian armed forces to seize the Black Sea’s Snake Island by air and sea over the weekend resulted in failure and substantial casualties, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense on May 10, 2022.
“Over the past two days, the Kiev regime has made several desperate attempts to land by air and sea on Snake Island, which is important for ensuring control of the northwestern part of the Black Sea,” the Russian military spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said.
Konashenkov stressed that the assault was ordered personally by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday, May 7, and the plans to take the island were made by the general staff in Kiev “with direct participation” of advisers from the US and the UK.
Russian forces stationed on the island thwarted the Ukrainian attack, and inflicted “great losses” on the enemy, as Konashenkov stated. He added that Ukraine lost four aircraft: three Su-24 ground attack jets and one Su-27 fighter, as well as four helicopters, including one Mi-24 and three Mi-8 loaded with paratroopers.
Over the two days of fighting, 29 Ukrainian drones were shot down, including a total of eight Bayraktar TB-2 attack UAVs. Four of the Turkish-made drones were eliminated during the day on Monday. Ukrainian losses also included three ‘Centaur’-class assault boats, also known as Project 58181, sunk during an attempted night landing on May 8, as Konashenkov said.
“As a result of Zelensky’s thoughtless provocation, more than 50 Ukrainian saboteurs have been killed at sea and on the coast during the landing and attempts to consolidate on the island. 24 bodies of dead Ukrainian servicemen were left on the shore of Zmeiny Island,” Russia’s Defence Ministry reported.
As RT reported, on Sunday, May 8, Ukraine reported that its Bayraktar drones had destroyed one Tor air defense system on the island as well as three Russian boats: one “Serna”-class and two “Raptor”-class vessels. Kiev also shared a video purportedly showing two of its Su-27 jets bombing the island.
It is reminded that Snake Island, located about 48 kilometers off of Ukraine’s southern coast, was taken by the Russian Navy in the first week of military operations. The island is of great strategic importance for both sides. In particular, the land plot allows for the control of the entire northwestern part of the Black Sea.
The Ukrainian government and media initially claimed that thirteen defenders all died after telling the Russian ship demanding their surrender to “go f*** yourself.” They were “posthumously” decorated as Heroes of Ukraine, only to turn up alive within days, as the Russian Navy revealed that a total of 82 border guards stationed on the island had surrendered without a fight.