The Ukrainian Navy on Monday said that the defenders
of Snake Island in the Black Sea are “alive and well”. The Snake Island soldiers
were initially feared dead.
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In a statement issued on Monday, the Navy stated
that the soldiers on the island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, nullified two
attacks by Russian forces but in the end, they were forced to surrender “due to
the lack of ammunition.”
The statement further said that the Russian forces
have completely destroyed the island’s infrastructure –lighthouses, towers and
antennas. On Sunday, the Ukrainian
Border Guard Service said that all 82 soldiers, who were feared dead, may be
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Russian state media also showed the arrival of the
Ukrainian soldiers in Sevastopol, Crimea, where they are being held.
Where is Snake Island?
Snake Island is located about 30 miles (48
kilometres) off the southern tip of the Ukrainian mainland in the northwestern
Black Sea. It is about 185 miles (300 kilometres) west of Crimea, the Ukrainian
territory that Russia annexed in 2014.
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Though it is only about 46 acres (18 hectares) in
size, a report last year from the non-partisan Atlantic Council think tank
called it “key to Ukraine’s maritime territorial claims” in the Black
Meanwhile, Switzerland announced to keep aside the
motto “Swiss neutrality” to impose sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine,
Swiss Federal President Ignazio Cassis said Monday. Switzerland’s sanctions
will be in line with those already adopted by the European Union, he added.
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“The Swiss Federal Council has decided today to
fully adopt EU sanctions,” Cassis said during a news briefing. “It is an
unparalleled action of Switzerland, who has always stayed neutral before.”
“Russia’s attack is an attack on freedom, an attack
on democracy, an attack on the civil population, and an attack on the
institutions of a free country. This cannot be accepted regarding international
law, this cannot be accepted politically, and this cannot be accepted morally,”
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Switzerland also closed its airspace to all flights
from Russia, including private jets, with the exception of humanitarian
flights, search flights and emergency situations.