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Ukraine now says there are no troops on Zmiinyi Island, which was recovered to raise the flag

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KYIV — The Ukrainian flag was delivered by helicopter to Snake Island in the Black Sea after Russian troops withdrew from a strategic outpost last week. The flag will be raised as soon as Ukrainian troops arrive, Ukrainian troops said on Monday.

Southern Ukrainian spokeswoman Natalia Humenik initially stated that the flag was raised on a rocky outcrop in the Black Sea.

"The flag was delivered to the island by helicopter," Ukrainian media quoted Humeniuk as telling CNN TV. "It will wait for the arrival of the army and then be lifted."

Homeniuk said her first statement to the reporter should be seen "figuratively." Stated. No troops have landed on the island, "no one is at risk for media photography." Some analysts say Russia's withdrawal from Snake Island off the southwest coast of Ukraine could loosen the blockade at Ukraine's ports.

However, a Kyiv-based diplomat told Reuters that it was not yet sufficient to safely transport Ukrainian grain.

"There are demining requirements, and Russia still has the ability to block routes (warships, cost defense systems, air superiority fighters)," said a diplomat.

Ukraine needs the support of its allies to unblock the port to ship grain, and diplomats have added that Turkey will play an important role.

Russia withdrew from Snake Island as a "good faith gesture" on Thursday to show that it did not interfere with the UN's attempt to open a humanitarian corridor to allow grain transport from Ukraine. Stated.

Ukraine said it had expelled Russian troops after a cannon and missile attack. (Report by Max Hunder and written by Tom Balmforth, written by Alexander Winning, edited by Ron Popeski, by Gareth Jones, Jon Boyle, David Gregorio)