Ukraine mentioned on Monday that it had taken management of a number of oil and gasoline platforms in the Black Sea, after a collection of clashes with Russian aerial and maritime forces in the waters between Odesa and the occupied Crimean Peninsula.
The Ukrainian navy intelligence company launched a 13-minute video together with fight footage, drone movies and interviews with unidentified particular forces troopers describing what they mentioned was “a unique operation to establish control” over offshore rigs generally known as the Boyko Towers that Russia seized in 2015.
Ukraine’s declare couldn’t be independently verified, and the Russian Ministry of Defense didn’t instantly remark.
Like close by Snake Island, a speck of land south of Odesa, the offshore platforms play a job in Russia’s skill to challenge energy in the Black Sea, the place the Kremlin has strangled the Ukrainian economic system and wreaked havoc with world food provides with a de facto naval blockade of Ukrainian ports.
The Russians have used the drilling platforms as ahead deployment bases and helicopter touchdown websites — primarily floating bases. Military analysts and the British military intelligence agency say Russia has put in radar installations and long-range missile programs used to assault Ukraine and defend towards strikes on Russian installations in Crimea.
Ukraine stepped up its marketing campaign to drive the Russians from the platforms this summer time, in accordance to each Russian and Ukrainian accounts.
In a skirmish final month, Russia mentioned that considered one of its fighter jets destroyed a high-speed navy boat carrying Ukrainian troops. Ukraine’s navy intelligence provided a distinct model of occasions, saying the Russian fighter jet had come below fireplace and was pressured to retreat.
In the video launched on Monday, Ukrainian forces confirmed what they mentioned have been “trophies” from the operation, together with a stockpile of helicopter munitions and a radar system that they mentioned can monitor the motion of ships. And they claimed that they had moved nearer to reaching their goal of reclaiming Crimea.
Although Ukraine was in a position to sink the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet early in the warfare, the Russian Navy has an essential base in Crimea and has been a forceful presence throughout the battle.
After Russia pulled out of a deal that allowed Ukraine to safely ship its acquire by way of the Black Sea, Moscow threatened to deal with civilian ships transferring to and from Ukrainian ports as probably hostile. Russia additionally started extra aggressively focusing on infrastructure at Ukraine’s ports, each on the Black Sea and the Danube River.
On Monday, a newly declassified British intelligence report instructed that Russian missiles in an assault final month have been aimed toward a civilian cargo ship that was docked at a Black Sea port in the Odesa area.
The ship, which sails below the Liberian flag, was unhurt in the Aug. 24 assault after the missiles have been shot down by Ukrainian air defenses, the report mentioned.
Anastasia Kuznietsova contributed reporting.