Ukraine

Ukraine used rare howitzer as part of mission to retake Snake Island

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence had ordered the weapon to be destroyed to avoid the Russian Army seizing it following Russia's invasion.

Ukrainian forces reportedly used a rare truck-mounted self-propelled howitzer against Russian forces on Snake Island.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, the 2S22 weapon – only one is known to exist – was used to help liberate the Black Sea island from Russian forces.

The ministry also quoted General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as paying "huge gratitude to the designers and manufacturers" of the weapon.

General Zaluzhnyi added that the "Ukrainian Bohdana self-propelled howitzer… played an important role in the liberation of the island" before showing his "appreciation to foreign partners for the provided munitions".

Due to the weapon's range, it is believed there is only a small area of Ukraine the self-propelled howitzer could have been fired from – an area close to the coast near Snake Island, according to geo-location Twitter account @GeoConfirmed.

That area, however, is swampland near the Romanian border, so Ukrainian forces may have needed to bring the weapon in by boat or possibly landing craft.

Watch: The Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's armed forces released footage of the 2S22 Bondana being fired towards Snake Island.

The firing of the weapon highlights the lengths Ukrainian forces have gone to retake Snake Island from Russian control.

After the island fell into Moscow's hands, Ukraine's armed forces have bombed it with aircraft, fired missiles at it from drones, destroyed ships and a helicopter bringing supplies to the island and, now, managed to hit it with heavy artillery.

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Russian forces had withdrawn from Snake Island.

Moscow claimed it pulled back its forces as a "goodwill gesture" that demonstrated that "the Russian Federation wasn't hampering the United Nations' efforts to establish a humanitarian corridor for taking agricultural products from the territory of Ukraine".

The 2S22 Bohdana, also known as Bogdan or Bogdana, was developed by Kharkiv Tractor Plant (KhTZ) – a tractor manufacturing company in Ukraine.

The weapon only successfully completed preliminary firing tests in January this year, with the Ukrainian armed forces testing the weapon in Odessa Oblast.

Watch: Russian personnel leave Snake Island off Ukraine.

It is designed to destroy artillery, command and communication posts as well as armoured and mechanised units.

The weapon first appeared at Ukraine's Independence Day parade in 2018 before firing tests were conducted in 2021.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence had ordered the experimental Bohdana weapon to be destroyed to avoid the Russian Army seizing it following the invasion in February 2022.

Snake Island became infamous earlier this year after a group of Ukrainian border guards were recorded telling a Russian warship to "go f*** yourself".

It was also around the island that the Russian cruiser Moskova was sunk.

Cover image: Ukraine's 2S22 howitzer fires on Snake Island (Picture: Ukraine AF Gen Staff).