Ukraine said on Monday its forces had retaken oil and gas platforms offshore Crimea which Russia had occupied in 2015.
The so-called Boyka Towers are oil and gas drilling platforms off the coast of Crimea in the Black Sea, and Ukraine has regained control over them, the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine said in a post on social media accompanied by a YouTube video.
The platforms for oil and gas drilling were occupied by Russia in 2015, after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.
The platforms were recaptured from Russia in what Ukraine described as a “unique operation.”
“For Ukraine, regaining control of the Boiko Towers was of strategic importance and, as a result, Russia lost the ability to use them for military purposes,” the Ukrainian military intelligence said in the video, as carried by Reuters.
“Russia has been deprived of the ability to fully control the waters of the Black Sea, and this makes Ukraine many steps closer to regaining Crimea,” Ukraine says.
According to the Ukrainian forces, “During one phase of the operation, a battle took place between Ukrainian special forces on boats and a Russian Su-30 fighter jet.”
The Russian aircraft was “hit and forced to retreat,” Ukraine added.
In recent weeks, Crimea and the Black Sea have become an increasingly important theater of battles in the war triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
At the end of last month, the UK Ministry of Defence reported that Ukraine and Russia had been fighting over strategic oil and gas platforms in the Black Sea. The platforms are operated by the Chernomorneftegaz, an oil and gas company that was seized by pro-Russian authorities in Crimea in 2014.
“Since Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022, Ukraine has struck several Russian-controlled platforms. Both Russia and Ukraine have also periodically occupied them with troops,” the UK said.