Russia’s Snake Island Pullout Was An Entirely Predictable Goodwill Gesture
Russia’s Snake Island pullout wasn’t just the right move at the right time for soft power purposes after that territory lost a lot of its military-strategic significance throughout the course of the conflict, but was also entirely predictable since everything was already moving in this direction as progress continued reportedly being made all throughout the month on Turkiye’s efforts to open up a “grain corridor”.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed on Thursday that its armed forces pulled out of Snake Island as part of a goodwill gesture connected to the Turkish-mediated talks to open up a so-called “grain corridor” for resolving the artificially manufactured food crisis caused by Kiev’s mining of Odessa and its US-led Western patrons’ anti-Russian sanctions. This was entirely predictable and not a so-called “Russian retreat” or “Ukrainian victory” like the Mainstream Media (MSM) is now spinning it.
The author asked on 7 June in response to a related development, “Did The Russian Navy Really ‘Retreat’ 100 Kilometers From The Ukrainian Coast?” The analysis posited that this “might have been part of a goodwill gesture undertaken by the Kremlin in response to talks with Turkey over demining the waters around Odessa as part of the so-called ‘grain corridor’ that they’re trying to create.” It added that this was done “since progress is reportedly being made in the context of Russian-Turkish talks”.
The last part of the piece included the following insight: “Even though Zelensky and the US-led Western Mainstream Media (MSM) have recently begun telling the truth about how poor Kiev’s forces are faring on the Eastern Ukrainian front, they know how addicted their captive audience is to so-called ‘victory porn’…This explains why Kiev is back to its old tricks again by pretending that it just achieved a major victory on the Southern Ukrainian front at sea.” The exact same pattern is once again at play.
Furthermore, some additional words deserve to be mentioned about Snake Island’s military-strategic significance in the context of Russia’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine in order to understand why this isn’t a setback for its campaign. Controlling this tiny territory at the onset of the conflict was meant to prevent NATO from resupplying Kiev’s forces by sea and possibly even directly threatening Crimea, which democratically reunified with its historical Russian homeland in spring 2014.
It was never truly meant to facilitate an amphibious landing of Odessa despite speculation to the contrary from friendly and unfriendly sources alike. Its military-strategic significance in this respect is no longer all that relevant after Turkiye officially scrapped NATO drills in the Black Sea as an unofficial goodwill gesture to Russia to earn its trust as a mediator with Kiev over opening up a “grain corridor”, the outcome of which would completely discredit the MSM’s narrative that Moscow provoked the crisis.
The prospective plan that’s reportedly been put forth is for Turkiye to demine Odessa’s port and then escort grain-carrying Ukrainian vessels to international waters, after which the Russian Navy would then escort them to the Bosporus. With progress being made on this front and Russia’s national security interests as earlier explained being safeguarded by Turkiye’s pragmatic balancing act between it and NATO, the military-strategic significance of Snake Island isn’t all that relevant anymore.
To the contrary, continued control over this tiny territory is counterproductive in the soft power sense since it’s been exploited by Kiev and the MSM to fearmonger about an alleged amphibious assault on Odessa that wasn’t truly planned in the first place and also pointed to as false “evidence” that Russia is supposedly “blockading” that port. Both weaponized infowar narratives will now be discredited after this pullout, which will in turn further reduce trust among the Western public in their governments.
That said, there’s always the chance that Kiev doesn’t agree to Turkiye’s reported deal that was touched upon earlier and/or Ankara inexplicably abandons its balancing act in order to let NATO warships into the Black Sea once again. The first scenario would further discredit that side’s false narrative about Russia being responsible for the global food crisis while the second could provoke a serious crisis that would be mutually detrimental to both Great Powers.
All things considered, Russia’s Snake Island pullout wasn’t just the right move at the right time for soft power purposes after that territory lost a lot of its military-strategic significance, but was also entirely predictable since everything was already moving in this direction as progress continued reportedly being made all throughout the month on Turkiye’s efforts to open up a “grain corridor”. Misportraying it as a “Russian retreat/Kiev’s victory” was also predictable but doesn’t make that false claim true.