June 19, 2024

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Ukraine says Russia dropped phosphorous bombs on Snake Island |  News

Ukraine says Russia dropped phosphorous bombs on Snake Island | News

Russian Su-30 fighter jets flew two sorties over Snake Island and dropped phosphorous bombs a day after “goodwill” waned.

Ukraine’s military has accused Russia of carrying out attacks using incendiary phosphorous munitions on Snake Island, just a day after Moscow withdrew its forces from the rocky outcrop in the Black Sea.

Valery Zaloghny, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, said on Telegram on Friday that two sorties of Russian Su-30 fighters dropped phosphorous bombs launched over the island from Russia-controlled Crimea.

“Today at around 18:00 … Russian Air Force Su-30 aircraft twice conducted strikes with phosphorous bombs on the island of Zmenyi,” the Ukrainian military said in a statement, using another name for Snake Island.

The Russian Defense Ministry described its withdrawal from the island on Thursday as a “goodwill gesture” intended to show that Moscow will not interfere with United Nations efforts to regulate protected grain exports from Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.

The Ukrainian military on Friday accused Russia of being unable to “respect even their statements”.

Video footage accompanying the Ukrainian statement showed a plane dropping munitions at least twice on the island and what appeared to be white lines rising above it.

Phosphorous weapons, which leave a distinctive white mark in the sky, are incendiary weapons that are prohibited from being used against civilians by international agreement but permitted for military purposes.

Ukraine has accused Russia of using phosphorous bombs several times since its invasion in late February, including on civilian areas, allegations Moscow has denied.

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Ukraine claimed that Russian soldiers were forced to withdraw from the island after being subjected to a barrage of artillery and rocket fire.

Snake Island is located off the Ukrainian coast, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the Danube Delta, and was already a restricted military zone as a Ukrainian border post before the war began.

Satellite image showing an overview of Snake Island, Ukraine on May 12, 2022 [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]