Ukrainian forces have recaptured Snake Island on the Black Sea after Russian troops pulled back in what Russia's defense ministry claimed was "a gesture of goodwill." While Ukraine said it had forced Russian troops to flee the small, strategically-located islet overnight on two speed boats following an operation with missile and artillery units, Russia's ministry of defense said troops had completed assignments in the area and withdrew to allow grain exports from Ukraine, per the Guardian. This shows "Russia is not impeding UN efforts to organize a humanitarian corridor to ship agricultural products from Ukraine," the ministry said, per Al Jazeera.
Blockades of Ukrainian ports have "caused grain prices to soar, threatening famine in several countries," per the Guardian. More than 20 million tons of grain are currently held in silos, per Reuters. Russia said Wednesday that it would work with the UN to prevent a global food crisis. But Andriy Yermak, head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's office, said the "goodwill" claims weren't true, per Reuters. "KABOOM! No Russian troops on the Snake Island anymore. Our Armed Forces did a great job," he tweeted. On Telegram, Valeriy Zaluzhny, the Ukraine military's commander-in-chief, thanked defenders "who took maximum measures to liberate" the island near Odessa. (Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)