- Ukraine has recaptured four strategically important oil and gas drilling platforms located between Crimea and Odesa in the northwestern Black Sea, the country's Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) announced on Monday.1
- The GUR stated that Ukrainian special forces had retaken the drilling platforms, collectively known as the 'Boyko Towers,' in a 'unique operation.' Russia had previously seized the Towers in 2015, a year after annexing Crimea.2
- During the operation, there was a clash between Ukrainian special forces on boats and a Russian fighter jet, which the agency claimed was damaged and forced to retreat. The GUR also claimed to have captured Russian helicopter munitions and a radar system that could track the movement of ships in the Black Sea.2
- While its claims couldn't be independently verified, the GUR posted a 13-minute video from the operation showing Ukrainian soldiers moving in the Black Sea on rubber boats, confronting Russian aircraft, and dismantling Moscow's reconnaissance assets.3
- Though the GUR didn't divulge the timing of the operation, in its daily intelligence briefings on the conflict, Britain's defense ministry said on Aug. 27 that there had been 'skirmishes' around gas platforms near the coast of Crimea.4
- Russia hasn't commented on Ukraine's claims. However, on several occasions in the past several weeks, the country's defense ministry has claimed to have intercepted a number of boats carrying Ukrainian troops west of Crimea.4
- Pro-Ukraine narrative, as provided by Kyivpost. This well-executed operation wasn't just unique, but had extremely significant consequences for Ukraine. These platforms control valuable hydrocarbon resources and can be used as forward deployment bases, helipads, and potential sites for long-range missile systems.
- Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by Tass. In a late-August attempt to shuttle Ukrainian forces in positions near Crimea, Russia's Black Sea Fleet destroyed four high-speed military boats and killed as many as 50 men. Ukraine's claims that it recaptured Black Sea drilling platforms from Russia are fabricated.