The small Ukrainian island of Zmiinyi in the Black Sea has been captured by the Russian forces, Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service said in a statement posted on Facebook late on Thursday.
The border guard service said infrastructure on the island was destroyed after an aerial attack and artillery shelling. Communications with the border guards and armed forces on the island was severed, according to the post.
Zmiinyi Island, or “Snake Island,” is one of the country’s southernmost settlements. The island, which is roughly 20 miles south from the Ukrainian coast, island plays a key role in establishing the boundaries of Ukraine’s territorial waters.
The island’s small population consists mostly of border guards.
The border guard service said in a statement that the island had been "captured by the enemy" based on last information it received. It added that Russian forces demanded that those defending the island surrender.
“It should be noted that the SBGSU, together with the Ukrainian armed forces and the National Guard of Ukraine, continues to fight actively against enemy,” the statement added.