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Russia Ukraine conflict

Russia says pulling its forces from Ukraine’s Snake Island in ‘goodwill gesture’

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Russia said Thursday it had pulled its forces from Ukraine’s Snake Island, calling it a “goodwill gesture” to allow Kyiv to export agricultural products.

“On June 30, as a gesture of goodwill, the Russian armed forces completed their tasks on Snake Island and withdrew a garrison stationed there,” the defense ministry said in a statement.

The announcement came after Ukraine had launched several raids on Russians forces on the Black Sea island.

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The Russian defense ministry said the withdrawal was aimed at demonstrating the world that “Russia is not impeding UN efforts to organize a humanitarian corridor to ship agricultural products from Ukraine.”

Moscow added that the “ball is now in Ukraine’s court,” accusing the pro-Western country of having still not demined its Black Sea coast.

Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing its grain, contributing to a global food shortage caused by grain exports blocked in Ukrainian ports.

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