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Ukraine says it has raised its flag again on Snake Island

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By Reuters
Ukraine flag raised again on Snake Island, military says
Ukraine flag raised again on Snake Island, military says   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022

KYIV -The Ukrainian flag has been raised again on Snake Island in the Black Sea, Ukraine’s military said on Monday, after Russian forces withdrew from the strategic outpost last week.

“The military operation has been concluded, and … the territory (Snake Island) has been returned to the jurisdiction of Ukraine,” Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern military command, told a news conference.

Some analysts have said Russia’s withdrawal from Snake Island off Ukraine’s southwestern coast could loosen its blockade on Ukrainian ports.

But a Kyiv-based foreign diplomat told Reuters it was still not enough to allow for safe transit of Ukrainian grain.

“There is a requirement for demining, and Russia still has capabilities (military vessels, costal defence systems and air superiority) that will allow them to interdict shipping lanes,” the diplomat said.

To unblock its ports so it can ship grain, Ukraine would need allied support and for Turkey to play a key role, the diplomat added.

Russia said it had pulled out from Snake Island on Thursday as a “gesture of goodwill” to show it was not obstructing United Nations attempts to open a humanitarian corridor allowing grain to be shipped from Ukraine.

Ukraine said it had driven the Russian forces out after an artillery and missile assault.