Picture: for illustration purposes

Ukraine Reclaims Strategic Black Sea Gas and Oil Platforms from Russian Control

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

Ukrainian military intelligence has announced the successful recapture of key offshore gas and oil drilling platforms, known as 'Boyko Towers', from Russian control in the Black Sea. The towers, situated near Crimea, had been under Moscow's control since 2015.

The reclamation of these platforms is a strategic manoeuvre by Kyiv, bringing Ukraine closer towards reinstating its control over the Russian-occupied peninsula. The unique operation was launched by Ukrainian forces and announced by the Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR) via the Telegram messaging service.

The GUR highlighted the strategic importance of regaining control over the Boyko Towers. "For Ukraine, regaining control of the Boyko Towers was of strategic importance and, as a result, Russia lost the ability to use them for military purposes,” the GUR stated. This operation significantly impedes Russia's ability to maintain control over the Black Sea waters, inching Ukraine closer to regaining Crimea.

During the operation, a clash took place between Ukrainian special forces on boats and a Russian jet, which was consequently damaged and forced to retreat. The retaking of the platforms also allowed the Ukrainian forces to seize helicopter munitions and a radar system used for monitoring Black Sea ship movement.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, underlined the strategic value of the Boyko Towers. He stated that these structures were not only used by Russia for military purposes but also served as installations for various monitoring, control, and surveillance sensors. Ukraine's retaking of these platforms effectively deprives Russia of these capabilities.

The Ukrainian operation to reclaim the towers followed reports of naval and air force skirmishes between Russian and Ukrainian forces at sea two weeks ago, noted by the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence. Used both for drilling and as bases for military deployment, these platforms have been central to the conflict and have been recurrently occupied by both nations' forces.

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