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Ukraine’s defense ministry on Saturday claimed it had sunk a Russian Serna-class landing boat off of the now-famous Snake Island which has stood as a symbol of resistance since the beginning of the war.
Undated video footage posted to social media appears to show an airstrike hitting a landing vessel that had soldiers on board.
Spokesman for the Odesa Regional Military Administration, Serhii Bratchuk, told Ukrainian news outlet Pravda that Zmiinyi Island – also known as Snake Island – has become “a symbol of our rock-hard endurance and our ability to shatter the enemy’s most persistent efforts.”
The island first garnered international attention after footage surfaced in the early days of the war of a Russian ship issuing a warning to a small group of Ukrainian soldiers, telling them to lay down their arms or face a missile strike.
A Ukrainian guard responded over the radio and said, “Russian Warship, go f— yourself.”
All 13 Ukrainian servicemen were originally thought to have been killed after contact with the soldiers had been lost.
It was later revealed they had been taken as prisoners of war.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has persisted for more than two and a half months and Moscow’s aggressive determination to take over eastern Ukraine has escalated in recent weeks in the lead up to its May 9th “Victory Day.”
The annual Russian holiday marks the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany, but Russian President Vladimir Putin is using the day’s celebrations in an attempt to claim a militaristic victory in Ukraine.
Russian troops will hold a parade in the southern port city of Mariupol Monday. Ukrainian prisoners of war and captured civilians are expected to be forced to be displayed in the parade.
Ukraine’s defense ministry on Saturday mocked Russia’s plans and said, “The traditional parade of the Russian Black Sea fleet on May 9 this year will be held near Snake Island – at the bottom of the sea.”
The defense ministry has not released additional details about the strike on the Russian landing vessel.