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British Intelligence unveils Russian shelling motives on Snake Island

British Intelligence unveils Russian shelling motives on Snake Island British intelligence analyzed the systematic strikes by Russian forces on Snake Island (Photo:
Author: Daria Shekina

The regular strikes by Russian military forces in the area near Snake Island, close to which on December 5th, the Ukrainian Defense Forces shot down an enemy Su-24M bomber, could be related to the Kremlin's attempts to demonstrate power in the Black Sea region, according to X of the UK Ministry of Defence.

The British intelligence analyzed the recent incident of the destruction of the Russian Su-24M, which was likely shot down by a Ukrainian surface-to-air missile system over the northwestern part of the Black Sea in the vicinity of Snake Island.

"Since the summer of 2023, Russia has continued conducting high-risk strike operations against the island," the British intelligence highlighted.

According to the UK Ministry of Defence, the Russian occupants may be carrying out such missions primarily for informational purposes, as Snake Island has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.

Reportedly, Russia aims to demonstrate its ability to project power in the Black Sea.

Additionally, the British ministry added that the Russian aircraft crew of two most likely perished, and it would be extremely challenging for the interveners to succeed in search and rescue operations.

"Both sides still suffer regular combat aircraft losses. Overall, air defences continue to severely limit the effectiveness of tactical air operations," the material stated.


On December 5th, the Ukrainian Defense Forces destroyed a Russian Su-24M bomber in the area of Snake Island. According to Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk, the bomber, covered by a Su-30SM fighter, attempted a missile and bomb strike in the southern part of the Odesa region.

In a comment to RBC-Ukraine, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Navy Dmytro Pletenchuk revealed that the bomber also laid mines to harm the grain corridor.

Additionally, the Ukrainian Navy stated that after the downing of the enemy Su-24M, the Russian occupants reduced aviation activity.

Liberation of Snake Island

On June 30, 2022, Russian occupiers left Snake Island. After another successful operation by Ukrainian forces, the enemy hastily evacuated the remnants of the garrison. As a result, this allowed the Ukrainian Armed Forces to completely liberate the Odesa region from Russian occupiers, preventing Russia from accessing the region's coastline and opening the grain corridor.

According to the Defense Intelligence of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, the liberation of Snake Island was a "complex, multi-level, high-risk special operation."