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Ukraine's Zmiinyi Island celebrates the recapture of Snake Island

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MaxHunder and TomBalmforth

KYIV — Ukraine from a strategic Black Sea outpost on Snake Island on Friday, struggling to thwart a violent attack on eastern industry. Celebrated the expulsion of Russian troops. The city of Lysychansik.

Russia withdraws from Snake Island on Thursday as a "good faith gesture" to show that Moscow is not interfering with attempts to open a humanitarian corridor that allows the transportation of grain from Ukraine. Said that it was decided.

Ukraine said it had expelled Russian troops from the outcrops after a cannon and missile attack, and President Volodymyr Zelensky praised his strategic victory.

"Security is not yet guaranteed. It is not yet guaranteed that the enemy will not come back," he said in his nightly video address. "But this severely limits the actions of the occupiers. Step by step, we push them back from our seas, our lands, and our skies."

But in contrast, Ukrainian troops were desperately hanging in Russia's superior firepower in the city of Lysychansik.

Russian artillery fired from different directions while Russian troops were approaching from several sides, local governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Ukrainian television.

"The firepower dominance of the occupiers is still very clear," Zelensky said. "They just brought in all the reserves to attack us."

Russian troops last week after several weeks of fierce fighting, Siverskyi Since occupying Sieviero Donetsk on the other side of the Donets River, it has been trying to surround Lysychansik.

In Severodonetsk, residents are coming out of the basement, sifting through the rubble of an abandoned city and trying to rebuild it.

"Almost all urban infrastructure has been destroyed. We have lived without gas, electricity and water since May," said 65-year-old resident Sergei Orenik, Reuters. Told to. "I'm glad this is over. Reconstruction will soon begin and will more or less return to normal life."

Assistance to Ukraine

Ground in eastern Donbus for the past few weeks Despite suffering punishable losses, Ukraine hopes to exhaust Russia's advancing troops and do enough damage to counterattack in the South. area.

Western allies in Ukraine are sending weapons, and the Kieu government has given further support to the United States by saying it will provide an additional $ 800 million in weapons and military aid. ..

After the NATO summit in Madrid, US President Joe Biden said Washington and his allies had united to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I don't know how it will end, but it won't end with Russia defeating Ukraine," Biden said at a press conference. "We will support Ukraine as much as necessary."

Smoke and Fire

There are 35 Ukrainian troops in the "south" district of the Ukrainian Joint Command. Killed Russian soldiers and stopped two tanks and four armored vehicles. Ukrainian military statement on Facebook on Friday.

"The Ukrainian army not only holds the defense line, but also succeeds in an operation aimed at freeing the occupied towns of the Kherson region from invaders. "There is," said Kryvyi Rih, Governor of the Region, Oleksandr Birkle. Telegram added that Ukrainian troops have regained the town of Tiomkin.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the battlefield claim.

Snake Island was retaken by Ukraine a few weeks after the momentum of the conflict four months ago seemed to shift in favor of Russia.

The Ukrainian army has posted an image on Facebook that looks like an island from the sky, with a sequence of black smoke on it.

"The enemy rushed to evacuate the wreckage of the garrison with two speedboats and probably left the island. Now Snake Island is being consumed by a fire and the explosion is exploding." Said.

Brigadier General Oleksii Hromov said that Ukrainian troops have not yet occupied the island, but will.

Rocky outcrops overlook the sea lanes to Odesa, Ukraine's main Black Sea port. Here, Russia is blocking food cargo from the world's leading grain suppliers.

Snake Island gained worldwide attention after Russia seized it on the first day of what was called a "special operation" to disarm dangerous nationalists. A Ukrainian guard ordered to surrender by the Russian flagship cruiser Moscow replied wirelessly, "Russian warship, let's do it ourselves."

Lifting the blockade was a major Western goal. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has accused Russia of deliberately causing world hunger as "blackmail."

Moscow has denied the blockade of the port and accused food shortages of western sanctions stating that it would limit its exports.

Russia has been defending the island since February, despite allegations that Ukraine caused serious damage, sank supply vessels and destroyed a Russian fortress.

(Report by Reuters, written by Grant McCool and Lincoln Feast, edited by Stephen Coates)