Ukrainian forces have liberated Snake Island, forcing a Russian withdrawal through heavy bombardment. Though Russia claimed it withdrew as a ‘show of good faith,’ the likely reason behind the withdrawal was Ukrainian usage of HIMARS and harpoon missiles, which made the occupation of the island untenable. The victory comes as an important morale boost as Ukrainian forces struggle in the Donbas, facing an overwhelming artillery bombardment and in dire need of NATO weaponry.
Though, so far, Western heavy weapons have been significantly increasing Ukraine’s odds, many more deliveries are needed to offset Russia’s numerical advantage. By and by, these deliveries are arriving but will likely come too late to hold the remnants of the Donbas. However, their transfer will give Ukraine more opportunities to conduct limited counterattacks, weakening Russia’s capabilities by targeting ammo depots and command posts. It is highly unlikely that Russia will be able to significantly advance out of the Donbas, though it is likely that Putin’s goals for the subjugation of Ukraine remain unchanged.
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