Russia out of snake island

Russia out of snake island

The Russian defense ministry also confirmed it had left the island but claimed it was “a gesture of kindliness that would “not allow Kyiv to speculate on the impending food crisis. “

Earlier in the war, Russia occupied Snake Island in the Black Sea, which has now been taken over by Ukrainian forces. Observers in the West said on Thursday (June 30) that the Russian retreat marks a major setback for Moscow and will likely weaken its control over key shipping routes.

Russia had suffered “significant losses” as a result of airstrikes on the island last week, according to Ukraine. As per the reports, this was the 2nd major military success achieved by Kyiv using missiles provided by the West.

Ukrainian military intelligence reported earlier that Harpoon anti-ship missiles had been successfully used for the first time, according to Reuters.

The Russian retreat has been confirmed by both Moscow and Kyiv. For more than a week, the Ukrainians say the Russians targeted the island and Russian supply lines continuously with missiles and artillery fire.


According to Ukrainian military reports, the last Russian soldiers had left on two speedboats during the night. Andrii Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, told The New York Times, “There are no longer any Russians on Zmiinyi (the Ukrainian name for the island).”

The Ukrainian military announced on Tuesday (June 28) that it had destroyed three anti-aircraft missile systems recently installed by the Russians on the island. The radar had been knocked out, so Russia could no longer assist its soldiers on the island.

Likewise, the Russian ministry of defense announced that it had left the island but sought to portray it as a “sign of goodwill” that prevented Kyiv from speculating on the impending food crisis, according to the NYT report.

Ukrainian grain exports, which averaged 5 million tonnes a month before the war, have been halted by Russian warships and submarines in the Black Sea. Western analysts said the Russian withdrawal from Snake Island did not necessarily mean the port would be more secure against Russian attacks now that it was under Ukrainian control.

The Snake or Serpent Island, called Zmiinyi in Ukrainian, is a rocky outcrop that stretches only 700 meters from one end to the other and is often described as being “X-shaped.” It is located 35 km from the coast, east of the mouth of the Danube, and roughly southwest of Odessa.

The island has been inhabited for thousands of years. There are mythological tales about it going back hundreds of years, according to Reuters. Historically, it has been associated with Achilles, the mythical Greek warrior who was invincible except for a vulnerable heel.

On the map, the island is marked by the tiny village of Bile, which is located on it. The island lies near the coast of Romania, with which Ukraine has a dispute, which was settled in 2009 by the International Court of Justice, which drew a new maritime border between the two countries, Reuters reported. Snake Island is located in parts of the Black Sea with significant oil and gas reserves. 

On February 24, the day of Russia’s invasion, two Russian warships from the Black Sea Fleet, Vasily Bykov and Moskva, attacked Snake Island. Following their attack, Russian troops landed on the island. The salty response of a Ukrainian soldier – “Russian warship, go f**k yourself” – became the stuff of war legends. A postage stamp celebrating his defiance was issued by Ukraine in April, and the Black Sea Fleet destroyed the Moskva, which had attacked the island on day one of the war.

The long war in Mumbai shifted back to Aarey by the new government.

Why saving Aarey forest is important for Mumbai - Oneindia News

There has been a dispute over the construction of a Metro car shed at Aarey since 2014. The former ally BJP and the Shiv Shena were at odds over the move to relocate the shed from Aarey to Kanjurmarg.

Maharashtra’s new government reversed a decision made by the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray to relocate the Metro-3 car shed to Kanjurmarg 102-acre salt pan land on Thursday (June 30). 

Shinde and Fadnavis have directed the Urban Development Department to present a proposal for a car shed at Aarey to the Cabinet.

On Friday (July 1), Thackeray said he was deeply saddened by the overturning of the decision and urged the Shinde government not to interfere with Mumbai’s environment.

He urged the government not to make a decision that would cause future suffering to Mumbaikars. Do not take your anger against me out on the people of Mumbai, he said.

There has been a dispute over the construction of a Metro car shed at Aarey since 2014. As a result of the decision to relocate the shed from Aarey to Kanjurmarg, the Shiv Sena and its former ally, the BJP, were at odds.

At Aarey Milk Colony, a 1,800-acre urban forest in suburban Goregaon surrounded by concrete structures and is home to over 300 species of flora and fauna, the then BJP-led Maharashtra government had arranged to build a car shed for the ambitious 33.5 km underground Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro project.

As a partner in Fadnavis’s government, the Yuva Sena led by Aaditya Thackeray opposed the move.

Aarey residents and environmental activists challenged the decision of the BMC Tree Authority to allow the cutting of trees for the project. Additionally, the petitioners demanded that Aarey be declared a flood plain and a forest.

Aarey protests: Supreme Court steps in to save Mumbai trees after protests  - BBC News

A Bombay High Court bench led by then Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog disbanded the petitions challenging the civic body’s decision on October 4, 2019. Over 2,000 trees were cut down in the area within 24 hours by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL), which is implementing the project.

Since Chief Justice Nandrajog was unavailable for judicial work on Saturday, the petitioners urgently moved a special High Court bench led by Justice S C Dharmadhikari.

According to the special Bench, there was no evidence that any request was made to stay the operation, execution, and enforcement of the judgment, nor any specific restraint (immediately after it was pronounced the previous day).

Regardless of any oral understanding, the Bench said it could not proceed, and it would not be appropriate to grant a stay merely because another Bench had been constituted.

As the Maharashtra government informed the Supreme Court, trees that needed to be cut had already been cut two days later. The Supreme Court controlled authorities from felling more trees and ordered Aarey to remain unchanged.

In a statement, the MMRCL reported that 2,141 trees had been felled.

In response to the civic body’s approval of tree cutting and the overnight felling following the High Court’s order, activists, Bollywood actors, and Aarey locals took to the streets under the banner “Save Aarey.”

According to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Fadnavis’ government has the power to issue orders in urgent cases of nuisance or danger. Aarey is a living space for about 10,000 people living in 27 tribal hamlets. A total of 500 police personnel were deployed, and 29 protesters were arrested. They were, however, released on bail after instructions from the Supreme Court.

Earlier this year, Thackery spearheaded complaints against Fadnavis’ decision to cut over 2,000 trees overnight at the Aarey site and promised to relocate the car shed.

After taking over the state, Uddhav Thackeray overturned Fadnavis’s decision to construct the shed at Aarey on November 29, 2019. In its place, he scrapped the ongoing project at Aarey and said the shed would be built on the salt pan land at Kanjurmarg.

In October 2020, the state government, through the Mumbai suburban district collector, transferred the 102-acre Kanjurmarg salt pan plot to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority.

2,141 trees cut in Aarey colony, Mumbai Metro says will meet project  deadline | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Thackeray’s state government suffered a setback on December 16, 2020, when the HC stayed the order of the collector while hearing the central government’s claim to land through its salt commissioner. There were episodes of the stay being extended.

Curiously, a few days after the Bombay HC order, Maharashtra Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde said that the state’s decision to scrap the Aarey car shed project and relocate it to Kanjurmarg was in the public interest.

Shinde has accused the opposition BJP of engaging in politics at the expense of the public interest and called the Centre’s stance over ownership of the Kanjurmarg land “unfortunate.”.

Kanjurmarg land has been claimed by several parties, including the government, the state, and private entities.

According to MMRDA’s application to vacate or modify the interim stay, it states as it is a public that since it is a “public project of urgency” and the work has already begun, it intends to provide all benefits and compensation to the owner and/or lessee upon acquisition.

The High Court had called on the Centre, the state, and other parties to resolve their disputes amicably in the interest of the public.

In a letter sent earlier this year, the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) urged the Maharashtra Chief Secretary to reconsider the decision to move the project to the Kanjurmarg region, citing reports prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

Under secretary of MoHUA wrote a letter dated March 17 stating that the DMRC, which assists the MMRCL in Metro line 3, has cited operational and maintenance problems if the car shed is moved to Kanjurmarg from Aarey.

The central government lawyer informed the High Court about the MoHUA letter, requesting the decision to relocate the project to Kanjurmarg be reconsidered.

Additionally, the Bombay High Court on June 15 allowed a plea by the Maharashtra government, which claimed that Adarsh Water Parks and Resorts Private Limited had fraudulently obtained a consent order in October 2020 claiming development rights over 6,000 acres of land in Kanjurmarg, including 102 acres for the Metro car shed.

Likewise, the central government and BMC had opposed the private firm’s claim to the land.

On Thursday, Fadnavis said Metro-3 was held up because of a legal dispute over the Kanjurmarg plot, where the previous MVA government had proposed to build the car shed.

Fadnavis has asked officials if the courts could be informed that the car shed could be built at Aarey itself through the Advocate General of the state. Chief Minister Shinde has concurred.

At the next hearing this month, the government is likely to inform the High Court that it does not want the land for the car shed in Kanjurmarg and will instead construct it in Aarey. After that, only the private suit over the saltpan land in Kanjurmarg could continue, thus ending the Centre v state conflict in the High Court.

What made government impose a special cess on automobile fuel export

Washington state lawmakers advance tax on fuel shipped to Alaska, prompting  an Alaska legislator to propose countermeasures

Domestic retail prices for diesel and petrol will remain unchanged, according to the government. 

Moreover, these measures will ensure petroleum products are available domestically.

To regulate the import and export of items like crude oil and gold, the government has imposed special excise duties/ cesses on exports of petroleum and diesel of Rs 6 per liter and Rs 13 per liter, respectively.

Despite concerns over increasing pressure on the current account deficit, the government increased the import duty on gold from 10.75 percent to 15%.

On crude oil, a cess of Rs 23,250 per tonne (via special additional excise duty or SAED) has been charged. Exports of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) or jet fuel have also been subject to SAED of Rs 6 per liter.

In order to prevent domestic crude oil producers from importing crude and then selling it at international parity prices, a windfall tax has been imposed.

“Crude is sold to domestic refineries at international parity prices by the domestic crude producers. Due to this, domestic crude producers are making windfall gains. In light of this, a cess of Rs 23,250 per tonne has been imposed on crude. According to the government, crude imports would not be subject to this cess.

Govt raises taxes on export of ATF, diesel and petrol; windfall tax on  domestic crude oil

It is very expensive for the refiners to export these products to markets around the world. It has been observed that certain refiners are drying out their pumps in the domestic market as exports become more lucrative.

Fuel cesses of Rs 6 per liter have been imposed on petrol and Rs 13 per liter on diesel to disincentivize their exports.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has imposed an export policy condition that requires exporters to declare at the time of export that 50% of the quantity shown in the shipping bill will be supplied in the domestic market.

There would be no adverse effect on the domestic retail price of diesel and petrol as a result of these measures. As a result, domestic retail prices would remain unchanged. In addition, these measures will ensure domestic availability of petroleum products.”.

There were several cities across the country that witnessed petrol pumps rationing supplies or shutting down due to non-availability of fuel, triggering panic buying among some people.

The circumstances peaked around the middle of the month, and the government intervened by ordering pumps to stay active and directing oil marketing companies (OMCs) to ensure fuel availability.

Additionally, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas assured us that the country had enough fuel to meet its needs.

IOCL, HPCL, and BPCL, as well as Rosneft-backed Nayara Energy and Reliance Industries, started reporting losses in retail sales as global crude prices increased and the rupee fell.

Downstream oil companies reduced supply to petrol pump vendors as losses mounted, resulting in fuel shortages at pumps across several states. In a statement issued on June 15, the government acknowledged the problem – and said Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka were experiencing shortages.

A sudden surge in gold imports has occurred. A Finance Ministry release said gold imports totaled 107 tonnes in May, and imports continued in June. As a result of the surge in gold imports, the CAD is under pressure. The duty on gold imports has been increased from 10.75% to 15% to curb the import of gold.

Customs’ duties on gold were previously 7.5%, but now they will be 12.5%. An additional 2.5% agriculture infrastructure development cess will bring the effective gold customs duty to 15%.


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