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If you've been following events as they unfold in Ukraine, then you're undoubtedly familiar with Snake Island. In February, during the early days of the invasion, Russian naval forces moved to take control of the strategic island, radioing the Ukrainian forces stationed there and requesting their immediate surrender. A request to which one Ukrainian soldier responded rather emphatically.
Russia occupied the island shortly thereafter, but in the months since they have relinquished control of Snake Island back to Ukrainian forces. And that is how Ukraine acquired its newest recruit: a tiny, black kitten.
Before landing troops back on the island earlier this month, the Ukrainian military surveyed the area by drone.
"The commander saw the little comrade and included the task of bringing him back as one of the mission objectives," one of the Ukrainian special forces told Reuters.
As it turned out, finding the kitten in all the rocks and debris of the island was a simpler task than initially feared. It turns out that, true to his homeland, the kitten's courage far outstrips his tiny size.
"He found us," the soldier said. "The report we made to the commander after we left the island was: 'Mission complete, no casualties. One additional team member—a kitten called Snake.'"
The Reuters report indicates that the aptly named Snake was perfectly happy curled up in the hands of the soldier while the interview was conducted. And while the soldier—whose face was covered throughout the interview to protect his identity—didn't go into detail regarding the kitten's current home, it is pretty easy to draw conclusions.
"He is with a loving family now," the soldier said simply. "All is well."