Russia abandons Snake Island

(VOVWORLD) - Russian forces abandoned the strategic Black Sea outpost of Snake Island on Thursday in a move that could loosen the grip of Russia's blockade on Ukrainian ports. 

Russia abandons Snake Island - ảnh 1A satellite image shows a burning pier and buildings on the northern end of Snake Island, Ukraine, June 30, 2022. (Photo: REUTER)

Russia said it had decided to withdraw from the outcrop as a "gesture of goodwill" to show Moscow was not obstructing UN effort’s to open a humanitarian corridor allowing grains to be shipped from Ukraine.

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

In another boost for Ukraine, the United States said it would provide another 800 million USD in weapons and military aid to Kyiv. The rocky outcrop overlooks sea lanes to Odesa, Ukraine's main Black Sea port, where Russia is blocking food cargos from one of the world's leading grain suppliers.

"The most significant aspect is that this could open the door to Ukrainian grain exports from Odesa, which is critical for Ukraine's economy and for the global food supply," Rob Lee of the US-based Foreign Policy Research Institute, said.