Some of the buildings on Snake Island appear damaged from Russian military strikes, and a Russian Naval ship is seen anchored off the island in the first clear satellite image of the Ukrainian island in the middle of the Black Sea.
The image, taken on Sunday by Maxar Technologies, is the first clear look of the island since it was bombed at the beginning of the Russian invasion.
In the image, some of the red-roofed buildings in the island’s center are shown to have been significantly damaged by the Russian shelling of the island. The ship seen offshore was identified by Maxar as a Ropucha-class landing ship. Although parts of it are snow-covered, there are impact craters dotting parts of the island.
Snake Island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, sits about 30 miles (48 kilometers) off the Ukrainian mainland’s southern tip in the northwestern Black Sea. It’s about 185 miles west of Crimea, the Ukrainian territory that Russia annexed in 2014.
The defiant soldiers who were stationed on the island quickly became lauded as heroes at the start of the Russian invasion into Ukraine.
Initial reports from the Ukrainian government claimed they responded to a warning from a Russian naval ship to lay down their weapons or they would be bombed. Their reported reply was, “Russian warship, go f*** yourself.” The Ukrainian Navy had feared the soldiers on the island were dead, but now believe they are “alive and well” but are prisoners of war.
CNN’s Sebastian Shukla and Lianne Kolirin contributed to this report.
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