Thu, 11 Aug 2022

Washington [US], July 2 (ANI): The United States on Friday announced that it will provide Ukraine with USD 820 million in new military aid as Russia's invasion of the country stretches into its fifth month.

As per an official statement by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Department of Defense inventories will give Up to USD 50 million worth of drawdown equipment to Ukraine for its self-defence.

The statement further stated that another USD 770 million will be given in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds, which will bring the total assistance to Ukraine to more than ISD 6.92 billion since Russia started its military operation in Ukraine.

It is the 14th package of military weapons and equipment transferred to Ukraine from Defense Department stocks since August 2021, according to The Washington Post.

Earlier on Thursday, the armed forces of Russia finally departed from Snake Island after almost four months.

Snake Island, a tiny piece of land about 25 miles off Ukraine's southeastern coast, sits on a major shipping lane and is an important access point to the key port of Odesa.

As per the report by The Washington Post, "the Ukrainian artillery, rockets and airstrikes this month pushed the Russians out of the Snake Island," wrote Commander in chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, Valery Zaluzhny in a Facebook post.

He also shared a video of missiles hitting the island and claimed a week earlier it had taken out Russian anti-aircraft systems there. However, Russia denied its systems had been destroyed.

"Russian forces tried unsuccessfully to stymie the assault with nighttime fighter jet attacks on the coast of the Odesa region," the Ukrainian military's southern command said on Facebook.As the Ukrainian military operation continued, Russian troops remaining on the island "hurriedly evacuated" the garrison on two speedboats, the statement added.

Taking to Telegram, Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's office said "On Snake [Island] there are no more Russians," stating further that the Ukrainian Armed Forces conducted a wonderful operation and knocked them out, the report said.

He also thanked foreign allies for weapons that aided the fight.

Meanwhile, Thursday's withdrawal of Russian forces from the Ukrainian island also garnered widespread reactions in Ukraine and around the world.

"Congratulations Ukrainian warriors on your liberation of Snake Island!" Michael McFaul, US ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration, tweeted.

"Ukraine's expulsion of Russian forces from Snake Island is a significant accomplishment for Kyiv and an important defeat for Russia," the Russia team lead at the Institute for the Study of War, said in an emailed statement Thursday.

"Ukrainian forces are unlikely to reoccupy Snake Island themselves, but they don't need to -- they needed to get the Russians off it, and they did," The Washington Post quoted Russia team Mason Clark as saying.

On February 24, Russia began a military operation in Ukraine due to which almost 14 million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes, according to United Nations (UN) estimates and most of those displaced are women and children.

The conflict has left 15.7 million Ukrainians stranded and in need of humanitarian support, with some of them lacking access to water and electricity. Three million children inside Ukraine and over 2.2 million children in refugee-hosting countries are now in need of humanitarian assistance.

Almost two out of every three children have been displaced by incessant rocket attacks and fighting between the two nations. (ANI)

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