The spokesperson for the Ukrainian Military’s Southern Command, 1st Capt. Natalia Humeniuk, said the country’s flag was dropped on Snake Island but has not yet been raised, clarifying earlier remarks regarding the status of the flag.
"The flag was delivered to the island by helicopter. It will wait for the arrival of the troops, then it will wave,” Humeniuk told CNN, when asked about her remarks earlier on Monday.
She also explained that her remarks about the flag being raised should be “understood metaphorically.”
"No one landed on the island. So who will install it, stick it in, raise it?,” she said. “And no one will risk people for the sake of a photo for the media.”
Earlier Monday, Humeniuk had said Ukraine's flag had been raised over Snake Island, after forcing a Russian withdrawal from the strategically important territory.
Some background: Known as Zmiinyi Ostriv in Ukrainian, Snake Island lies around 30 miles (48 kilometers) off the coast of Ukraine and is close to the sea lanes leading to the Bosphorus and Mediterranean.
Russian troops left Snake Island in the Black Sea, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said last week, after they carried out what they said was a "successful" operation.
The small but strategic territory was the scene of one of the opening salvos of the war in Ukraine, with demands from a Russian warship calling for the Ukrainian defenders to surrender, who boldly replied with "Russian warship, go f*** yourself."