Ukraine says Russia dropped phosphorus bombs on Snake Island | News

The Ukrainian army has accused Russia of carrying out attacks with incendiary phosphorus ammunition on Snake Island just a day after Moscow withdrew its troops from the rock in the Black Sea.

Two missions of Russian Su-30 fighter jets that dropped phosphorus bombs were flown over the island from the Russian-controlled peninsula, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, said on Telegram on Friday.

“Today at around 6:00 PM, Russian Air Force Su-30 planes carried out two attacks with phosphorus bombs on Zmiinyi Island,” the Ukrainian military said in a statement, using a different name for Snake Island.

Russia’s defense ministry on Thursday described its withdrawal from the island as “a goodwill gesture” intended to demonstrate that Moscow will not interfere in UN efforts to organize protected grain exports from Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.

The Ukrainian army on Friday accused Russia of “failing to respect even their own statements”.

Video footage accompanying the Ukrainian statement shows that a plane dropped ammunition on the island at least twice, and what appeared to be white stripes sticking out above it.

Phosphorus weapons, which leave a distinctive white trail in the air, are incendiary weapons whose use against civilians is prohibited by an international convention, but allowed for military purposes.

Ukraine has accused Russia of using phosphorus bombs since late February, including in civilian areas, allegations Moscow has denied.

Ukraine has alleged that Russian military personnel were forced to withdraw from the island after coming under a barrage of artillery and rocket fire.

Snake Island is located off the Ukrainian coast, some 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the Danube Delta, and was already a restricted military area as a Ukrainian border post before the war started.

A satellite image shows an overview of Snake Island, Ukraine on May 12, 2022 [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]
A satellite image shows an overview of Snake Island, Ukraine on May 12, 2022 [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]