Ukraine Says It Destroyed More Russian Air Defenses On Snake Island

Russia denies any damage to its air defense systems on Snake Island, instead claiming Ukraine suffered losses during an attack.

byHoward Altman|
Snake Island Strike


Ukraine continues to pound Snake Island, the strategically important Black Sea rock about 22 miles from the mainland.

New video has emerged showing what Ukraine officials say is yet another attack on the island. The video was released Sunday shortly after the strike occurred, a Ukraine intelligence source tells The War Zone. The Ukraine Ministry of Defense (MoD) said it destroyed another Russian Pantsir air defense system. This marks the second time in less than a week that Ukraine says it destroyed Russian air defenses on the island.

“Ukraine over the past night delivered more than 10 pinpoint strikes on [Snake Island], another Russian Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft gun missile system was hit,” said Natalya Gumenyuk, head of the press center of the security and defense forces of the Pivden Operational Command, according to

Marine Lt. Col. Anton Semelroth, a Pentagon spokesman, declined comment on the Ukrainian claims.

The Russian MoD denies any of its systems were destroyed, instead saying it was Ukraine that suffered losses.

“The enemy unsuccessfully attempted to launch attacks by aviation and [multiple launch rocket systems] at Snake Island,” the Russian MoD said Sunday. “The attack was repelled by Pantsir-S air defense missile and gun system and has resulted in the destruction of 1 Su-25 airplane of Ukrainian Air Force and 12 rockets. “Neither victims among garrison personnel, nor damage have been caused.”

Ukraine used multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) as well as aircraft in this latest attack, Andrii Ryzhenko, a retired Ukraine Navy captain and former member of that nation’s general staff told The War Zone Monday morning.

Ryzhenko did not specify the type of MLRS or aircraft involved, but last week the Ukrainian intelligence source told The War Zone that multiple types of 155mm howitzers, 122mm BM-21 and 220mm BM-27 rocket artillery systems, Su-24 Fencer swing-wing combat jets, and Su-27 Flanker fighters had all taken part in recent operations targeting Snake Island.

So far this remains unconfirmed. But it is worth pointing out that the very shortest distance between mainland Ukraine and the island is around 22 miles, which is beyond the range of even many extended-range 155mm shells and 122mm rockets. However, Ukraine is now using the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) provided by the U.S., which would have the range to hit Snake Island. In addition, the U.S. military is working on the employment of Excalibur long-range munitions for the artillery systems being provided to Ukraine, a senior U.S. defense official told reporters Monday morning. WIth a maximum range of about 24 miles, according to its manufacurer, Raytheon, those too could have the range to hit Snake Island.

Once again, the Ukraine military has promised attacks on Snake Island will continue.

“The military operation is designed for a long time and the absolute liberation of the island from the invaders,” Gumenyuk told reporters in Ukraine.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they happen.

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