Cannes, Monday 14 March 2022
by Mark Porter
The Russian warship that bombed Snake Island on the Black Sea on the first day of the invasion of Ukraine has been destroyed. This may not be the world’s most up to date report of the war, but this film clip is worth seeing.
The large patrol corvette, the Vasily Bykov, was destroyed in a missile attack near the port city of Odesa last week. The Russian naval vessel had asked Ukrainian border guards on Snake Island — some 40 km (25 miles) from the border with Romania — to surrender or “be hit with a bomb strike.”
“Russian warship, go fuck yourself,” a Ukrainian border guard replied. The Russian threat was duly followed up and the Vitaly Bykov rained shells on the fortification, only for the guard’s pithy imperative to be enacted in a blaze of glory once the smoke had cleared. The following morning all that could be seen of the patrol boat was a smoking husk on the horizon.
The rather smart Ukrainians lured the bigger vessel in close to the shore with a tiny coastal patrol boat, then whacked the Vitaly Bykov with a guided missile from the shore. “The Russians seem to be outsmarted all the time by the Ukrainians. If it was a chess match they would have lost by now,” said the AEJ’s strategic boffin, Ray Dargai.