Ukraine claims control of offshore drilling rigs near Crimea

Ukrainian forces have regained control of oil and gas drilling rigs off the coast of Crimea, the country’s Defense Intelligence said Monday.

In a statement on the Telegram messaging app, Kyiv authorities said the drilling rigs known as the Boyko Towers were recaptured.

Russia occupied the rigs in 2015 soon after it annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and had used them for military purposes since the start of Moscow’s full-scale invasion on Ukraine in February 2022.

Specifically, the 2010-built jackup Petro Godovanets and the 2012-built Ukraine had been under the control of Crimea-based oil and gas exploration company Chernomorneftegaz, which was seized by Russia-backed officials in Crimea from Ukraine’s state gas firm Naftogaz.

“A unique operation to establish control over the Boyko Rigs was carried out by the units of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, in particular, the Petro Godovalets and Ukraina drilling platforms, as well as the Tavrida and Syvash drilling platforms, were returned to control,” the statement said.,” Defense Intelligence said.

“During the operation, the special forces managed to capture valuable trophies: a stockpile of helicopter munitions of the UAM type (unguided aircraft missiles), as well as the Neva radar, which can track the movement of ships in the Black Sea,” it added.

Since Russia’s invasion Ukraine has struck several Russia-controlled platforms. Analysing clashes for control of the Towers last month, the UK Defense Ministry said that they could serve “as advanced bases for force deployment, helicopter pads, and sites for the placement of long-range missile systems.”

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