fense and enabled the Ukrainians to launch

the attacks against the occupied island. The

final campaign commenced during the night

of June 16-17 by sinking the tugboat „Vasily

Bech“. She was hit by two Harpoon missiles.

The Russians understood that supplying the

island by the surface vessels will no longer

be possible.

In the following days Snake Island became

the target of Ukrainian rockets as well as the

155 mm caliber howitzers. Besides the weapons delivered from West the Ukrainian self-propelled howitzers Bohdana were to join

the fight. Gradually the AA systems Pantsir-S1, radars a various military vehicles were

destroyed. The Russian side announced that

on June 21 they destroyed all projectiles fired at the island, shot down 13 drones and

repelled the landing attempt. Consequently,

on June 27 they were to shot down 12 rockets and a Ukrainian Su-25. The Ukrainian

side countered these claims by publishing

the videos showing the island being heavily

bombarded. By the way the explosion images

were delivered by a Bayraktar drone which

recorded the events unmolested despite the

supposed successes of the Russian AA defense. On Wednesday June 29 the island was

shelled again and according the Ukrainian

statements one of four Russian helicopters

that approached this small piece of rock was

hit. The damaged helicopter crashed into

the sea. Some sources state it was Ka-52,

according to the others Mi-8. At any rate the

kill remains unconfirmed.

What is confirmed though is the escape of

the Russian garrison from Snake Island. On

June 30 in the morning the soldiers boarded

two speedboats and disappeared leaving

behind the abandoned equipment and island

engulfed in smoke. Kremlin tried to present

this as a „goodwill act“. The soldiers withdrew „having completed all tasks“. Obviously

not because on July 1 evening two Russian

Su-30 arrived a dropped four incendiary

bombs on the island in order to burn all what

was left behind the fleeing soldiers. Their

effort was hampered a bit by the fact that

three of the bombs missed the island copletely and harmlessly plunged into water. The

embarassment was recorded on video by

a patrolling Bayraktar drone which the

Russian Sukhoi pilots obviously missed.

The real „goodwill act“ was delivered by the

Ukrainians who on the following day helped

Russians finish their job. By a precision fire

they destroyed the vehicles left behind on

the pier. Who else took care of it but Bayraktar drone. On July 4 a special Ukrainian unit

landed on the island and hoisted the blue

and yellow flag to symbolically end the occupation which lasted 126 days.

Foreign supplies

The Ukrainians continue not only deploying

Bayraktars but also procuring, them even

though their „star“ is currently overshadowed by HIMARS rocket launcher media hype.

In the beginning of July one drone was delivered to Ukraine from Lithuania. Its citizens

raised 5.9 million EUR. Turkish manufacturer

Baykar refused to accept the payment and

delivered the drone free of charge. The raised funds were allocated to the humanitarian assistance. The Lithuanians named the

drone Vanagas which means hawk. In the

end of June the Ukrainians themselves raised the funds to purchase three drones. Ultimately in three days they raised money to

pay for four UAVs. In this case Baykar company decided to supply them free of charge

as well. Another Bayraktar fund raising was

launched in Poland.

Details about the aircraft equipment delivered to Ukraine in the previous period

surfaced as well. One of the Czech Mi-24V

combat helicopters could be identified based on the published photographs. It is the

airframe coded 3370 which previously carried the name Kosta and RAF 311 Czechoslovak Squadron anniversary markings.

Details about helicopters from Slovakia are

also known. Mi-2 coded 3301 was donated as

a source of the spare parts. Mi-17 code 0807

and 0821 were delivered by ground transportation with the rotors removed. Mi-17

coded 0844 and 0847 left for Ukraine with

the fully armed blocks of the B-8-V20

unguided missiles. As far as Slovakia is concerned the delivery of 11 Mig-29 fighters is

being mentioned. The Slovak representatives did not exclude it however it is based on

the new arrangement to protect the Slovak

airspace. As of September 1 the Czech JAS

30 Gripen should assume this role so Mig

deliveries to Ukraine would be possible after

this date.

One of the Mi-17 helicopters from the USA. Originally intended for Afghanistan,

it now flies in Ukrainian colours.

Originally Czech Mi-24V No. 3370 already in Ukraine.


INFO Eduard

August 2022