Ukrainian forces use Bohdana howitzer to liberate Snake Island
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Kyiv claimed that it had driven Russian forces off the island after an artillery and missile assault. President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the win during his nightly television address although he cautioned that it did not “guarantee security”.
He said: “It does not yet guarantee security.
“It does not yet ensure that the enemy will not come back.
“But this significantly limits the actions of the occupiers.
“Step by step, we will push them back from our sea, our land and our sky.”
In contrast Russia argued on Thursday that it had withdrawn from Snake Island as a “gesture of goodwill”.
Moscow claimed this was to show that it wasn’t obstructing UN attempts to open an humanitarian corridor which would allow grain supplies to be shipped from Ukraine.
It comes as a Russian missile strike on the southern port city of Odessa killed 10 people in the early hours of Friday morning, according to a regional official.
Earlier reports had indicated that six people had died including three children as a result of the strike on a residential building.
Serhiy Bratchuk, spokesperson for the Odessa regional administration said that figure had now risen on his Telegram channel.
He said: “The number of dead as a result of a strike on a multi-story apartment building has now risen to 10.”
In Eastern Ukraine Russian forces boosted by their superior firepower appear to have the upper hand.
In the city of Lysychansk the Russian army is shelling and attacking from several sides, regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Ukrainian television.
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He said: “The superiority in fire power of the occupiers is still very much in evidence.
“They have simply brought in all their reserves to hit us.”
Russian troops have been attempting to encircle Lysychansk since they captured the nearby city of Sievierodonetsk last week.
In Sievierodonetsk residents have emerged from shelters in basements and are looking to rebuild the city.
One resident Sergei Oleinik told Reuters that all the city infrastructure had been “destroyed”.
He said: “Almost all the city infrastructure is destroyed.
“We [have been] living without gas, electricity, and water since May.
“We are glad that this ended, and soon maybe reconstruction will start, and we will be back to more or less normal life.”
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