Just one day after Moscow withdrew its forces from the rocky outcrop in the Black Sea, the Ukrainian army accused Russia of conducting attacks on Snake Island using incendiary phosphorus munitions.
According to Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, chief of the Ukrainian army, two missions of Russian Su-30 fighter planes dumping phosphorus bombs over the island came from the Russian-controlled Crimean Peninsula.
“Today, about 8:00… The Ukrainian army used Zmiinyi island, another name for Snake Island, as the target of two phosphorus bomb attacks by Russian air force Su-30 aircraft.
A Russian airstrike upon the Snake Island that is unmanned now following their withdrawal.
Destroying the weapons they could not evacuate? pic.twitter.com/SsfGLVx7kK
— Illia Ponomarenko 🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) July 1, 2022
The withdrawal of Russian forces from the island on Thursday was characterised by the Russian defence ministry as “a gesture of goodwill” aimed to show that Moscow will not obstruct UN attempts to plan safeguarded grain exports from Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.
On Friday, the Ukrainian army charged that Russia was unable to “follow even their own declarations.”
The Ukrainian allegation was accompanied by video footage showing a plane dropping bombs on the island at least twice and what seemed to be white streaks rising above it.
An international treaty forbids the use of phosphorus weapons—incendiary weapons that produce a distinctive white trail in the sky—against civilians, but permits their use against military objectives.
Since its invasion in late February, Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of using phosphorous bombs, especially on civilian areas. Moscow has refuted these claims.
According to Ukraine, a barrage of artillery and missile fire caused Russian military personnel to be compelled to flee the island.
Snake Island, which is 35 kilometres (22 miles) off the Ukrainian coast and is home to a Ukrainian border outpost, was already a restricted military region before to the start of the war.