Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky visits Snake Island as war enters 500th day.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky visits Snake Island as war enters 500th day.

Snake Island was seized and the Ukrainian soldiers were taken prisoner but later exchanged for Russian captives. Ukrainian forces recaptured the island in June last year.

Saturday’s video comes after Zelensky spent much of the week visiting European leaders as part of a diplomatic tour to ramp up support for Ukraine’s NATO’s membership.

He also welcomed the news that the US would be supplying Ukraine with cluster bombs a type of weapon that has been banned in more than 120 countries because they have a record of killing civilians.

Both Ukraine and Russia have been using cluster munitions throughout the war, but the US’s decision has proved controversial.

Zelensky called the latest US arms package “timely, broad and much-needed”, tweeting that it “will provide new tools for the de-occupation of our land”.

Ukraine’s long-awaited counter-offensive to retake territory from Russia’s occupying forces began last month although Zelensky has admitted progress has been slow.

The effort has been focused in the eastern Donetsk and south-eastern Zaporizhzhia regions of the country, while there have also been slow advances in the city of Bakhmut.In the undated clip, posted on Telegram, Zelensky described it as proof that Ukraine would return every inch of its territory taken by Russia since the war began on Feb. 24, 2022.

“I want to thank from here, from this place of victory, each of our soldiers for these 500 days,” Zelensky said in the video, in which he was shown arriving on the island by boat and leaving flowers at a memorial.

Last year, Russia’s flagship Moskva sailed to Snake Island within hours of the start of the war and ordered Ukrainian soldiers on the island to give themselves up.

“I suggest you lay down your weapons and surrender to avoid bloodshed and needless casualties. Otherwise, you will be bombed,” said a Russian officer.

The Ukrainian response and verbal exchange went viral as a soldier replied telling the Russian warship to “go to hell although in far cruder language

.The Black Sea island was seized by Russia, but later reclaimed by Ukraine. In a video, the Ukrainian president called it a “place of victory” that would never be reconquered.

At the start of the war, Ukrainian soldiers defending Snake Island famously defied an order from a Russian warship to surrender.

Zelensky has posted a video of himself visiting an island that became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance — as the war enters its 500th day.