Ukrainian military forces said Monday they managed to regain control over four strategically important oil and gas drilling platforms located in the Black Sea near the shores of Russian-occupied Crimea.
“During the operation, the special forces managed to seize valuable trophies: a stockpile of helicopter ammunition of the NAR type (unguided aerial missiles), as well as the Neva radar, which can track the movement of ships in the Black Sea,” Ukraine’s military intelligence, also known as GUR, said.
They posted a video of Ukrainian soldiers posing on the platforms at the Black Sea. Ukraine has been conducting a grinding summer counteroffensive to recapture territory seized by Vladimir Putin’s invading Russian forces.
POLITICO has not managed to independently verify the footage, but late last month the British Ministry of Defense reported that skirmishes were taking place between Russian and Ukrainian forces around the platforms between Crimea and Odesa.
“During one of the phases of this operation, a battle took place between Ukrainian special forces on boats and a Russian Su-30 fighter jet. As a result of the battle, the Russian plane was damaged and had to retreat,” GUR said Monday.
The British Ministry of Defense has said that both Russian and Ukrainian troops seized temporary control over the drilling platforms in the past.
“The platforms command valuable hydrocarbon resources. However, like Snake Island to the west they can also be used as forward deployment bases, helicopter landing sites and to position long-range missile systems,” the ministry said in a statement.