It is unlikely this hollow victory will spell the end of Vladimir Putin's ambitions to invade southern Ukraine and establish a land corridor from the current Ukraine / Russia border to The Crimean Peninsula and the port of Odessa.
Russia says its withdrawal from Snake Island was because The Kremlin has lost interest in the island which because of the island's vulnerability to missile and long range artillery attack render it strategically insignificant, but this move will make any amphibious assault on Odessa much harder.
Russian ownership of Snake Island made any attempt to export grain from Odesa almost impossible. However claims that Ukrainian occupation of Snake Island - which it will no doubt quickly
populate with air and sea defences - has the potential to ease the
global shortage of grain are somwhat hyperbolic.
This conflict has become a war of attrition. There are many factors which impact a war of attrition but t two types of military hardware can have a crucial impact. First is long range artillery. And second is the UAVs which really are what make the artillery effective. Because they tell the artillery where to aim.
According to unbiased information Russians are winning the UAV war with the Orlan-10 Unmanned reconnaiance vehicle. The Orlan-10 is very simple machine. A YouTube video shows someone analyzing the technology by taking one apart. And they were laughing at it because parts of it were held together by duct tape and the camera was a just an ordinary Canon camera that anyone could buy. We can laugh at these low - tech solutions but they mean these bits of kit are cheap, and the Russians have thousands of them as a consequence which in turn means the Russians can see everything along the battlefront. That is the half the issue of what is actually killing Ukrainian soldiers.
The drones that the Ukrainians are using are much more expensive and there are not that many of them. The Orlan-10 is basically a hobbyist level of technology. But it works! It's all that is necessary right now.
For a more complete analysis of the state of play on day 126 of the war:
That's from "War in Ukraine" and it is a thought-provoking analysis.
It should be obvious that wars are expensive and that with a shaky economy at the best of times the Ukrainian government is desperate to find money which is why their front man Zelenskyyyyyyy the Clown is going round the world holding out the begging bowl. But in asking for more, and more advanced weapons they are shooting themselves in the foot for short-term money.
For example, let's take the farmers on whose grain and oil seed crops the Ukrainian economy is heavily dependent. The economic case for grain production in the Ukraine depended on the ability of brokers to export the grain through the Black Sea by ship. Without that there is no economic case for wholesale grain merchants to conclude futures contracts with producers, thus the market for grain is reduced by something like 75%. An alternate pathway that might have released exports to the wider world was to ship the grain by rail via EU nations.
Well the Ukrainian government has just increased the cost of shipping by rail by maybe 65%, and that , on top of certain technical obstacles that completely eliminates the incentive to plant a crop. The farmer goes from a situation where if they were optimistic they might visualize making some money and they can justify planting a crop on that basis to a situation where they are definitely going to lose money if they plant a crop.
So that may mean that no crop was planted this year and that is a disaster not only for Ukraine next year but also for that part of the world, particularly north and east Africa, that depends upon food exported from the Ukraine. And that means they have to switch the grain containers from one national rail system to another at the border. There have been efforts to lower the cost of doing that, which was mainly all the bureaucratic barriers at the border, since the beginning of the war.
Unfortunately the Ukranian railway gauge is not the same as their friendly neighbours so container wagons cannot be transferred seamlessly.
That means carriers have to switch the grain containers from one train to the other at the border. There have been efforts to lower the cost of doing that, which was mainly all the bureaucratic barriers at the border, since the beginning of the war. It used to take weeks and sometimes a month before grain container was switched to the other gauge, a process that because of EU bureaucracy can take weeks. Ukrainian exporters are reportedly trying to reduce that to days but the European Union being the authoritarian, bureaucratic nightmare it is, things are not likely to change any time soon.
All this adds up to a picture that exposes the narrative of 'Brave Little Ukraine standing up to the bully Putin,' as pure propaganda. The conflict in Ukraine is bloody and brutal and despite reports that Russia is losing squillions of fighting men every day while the Azov brigade has only lost a handful of foreign mercenaries and a blind old dog is bollocks. There are significant casualties on both sides but figures quoted by either should be taken with a pinch of salt.
What should really concern us is that NATO and EU member states and the USA are continuing to supply advanced weapons to Ukraine, enabling the neo - Nazi nutters in Kiev to prolong and escalate the war, while Ukrainian civilians are bearing the brunt of the suffering and deprivation that always goes with war.