"Clearly, the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense estimates that this is a strategic object that will be used by Russia to control, in fact, the entire northwestern part of the Black Sea. And it is no coincidence that from the first days of the war, Russia captured the island and began to install the necessary equipment to monitor the air, surface and underwater situation near the island. And this, in fact, made it possible for Russia to gather more accurate intelligence data on the developments in this region," Vadym Skibitsky, representative of the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine said during the nationwide telethon, answering questions about the enemy's plans for Zmiinyi Island.
According to him, the ideological component of the island is also important for the Russians, because the enemy's ability to organize the air defense in this part of the sea declined after the Moskva missile cruiser had been destroyed.
Skibitsky noted that the enemy did not abandon plans to take control of the island.
Asked whether the Russians would try to increase their presence and install S-300 systems to create a so-called "umbrella", he said: "Perhaps such plans will be implemented in the future, but today, and it is already clear, the military intelligence has all the data on the deployment of air defense systems on Zmiinyi Island, including Pantsir and two Tor-M2 launchers which will secure short-range air defense. Accordingly, we do not rule out that other air defense systems may be deployed, albeit in small quantities, and possibly even missile systems that will allow shelling of both surface and ground targets in our country and not only ours."
Commenting on the possibility of Russia's use of Zmiinyi Island in the future for hostilities in Transnistria, the military intelligence representative did not rule out such attempts by the enemy.
"We monitor the current situation in the so-called Transnistrian Moldavian Republic. The second thing to note is the threat of possible expansion of aggression from the territory of Transnistria. Why? Because there can be illegal armed formations, the same ‘Cossack associations’. There is a constant presence of Russian troops, a contingent in Transnistria, and Russia can strengthen this group at any moment by redeploying airborne troops to Transnistria, in particular to Tiraspol. And it is possible to do that only by air. To ensure this corridor, it is necessary to strengthen air defense, including, perhaps, by systems on Zmiinyi Island," said Skibitsky.
As reported, on May 8, Ukrainian troops destroyed a Serna-class landing craft, two Raptor assault boats and damaged another Raptor boat.
Moreover, at the beginning of previous week, the Armed Forces of Ukraine used Bayraktar UCAVs to strike Zmiinyi Island captured by Russian invaders and destroyed the enemy command post.