The Ukrainian army on Friday accused Russia of having attacked Cobras Island with phosphorus bombs, a day after it retreated from that location.
“Russian Air Force SU-30 planes carried out two attacks with phosphorus bombs against Cobras Island,” the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Valerii Zaluzhny, wrote in the Telegram.
- Cobras Island: understand why a territory of 0.15 km² that Ukraine reconquered after 4 months is important
- Russian army announces withdrawal from Snake Island, symbol of Ukrainian resistance
On Thursday, the Russians left the island. The Russian government said at the time that the departure was a goodwill gesture to demonstrate its willingness not to interfere with UN efforts to facilitate Ukrainian grain exports.
Satellite image of Cobras Island in the Black Sea — Photo: Maxar Technologies/Via Reuters
According to the Ukrainian army, today’s bombings show that Russia “does not respect its own declarations”.
What are phosphorus bombs
Phosphorus bombs, which leave a white trail in the sky, are internationally banned incendiary weapons against civilians, but not military targets.
Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of using phosphorus bombs against civilians since the invasion of its territory began in late February, but Russia has always denied the use of such devices.
Cobras Island is of great strategic importance and became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance when the guards defending it refused, in a now-famous radio message across the country, the surrender order.
After its conquest, keeping it under their control cost the Russians men and materials.
Not far from its shores, the “Moskva”, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, was hit in April by a Ukrainian missile, inflicting the biggest humiliation on the Russian navy in decades.