Ukraine regains control of Black Sea oil, gas drilling platforms captured by Russian forces

Olesia Safronova, Bloomberg September 11, 2023

(Bloomberg) – Ukraine’s military intelligence service said its forces regained control of several oil and gas drilling platforms in the Black Sea that were used by Russia for stationing helicopters and radar activity.

Special forces units seized a stockpile of helicopter ammunition and a Neva radar system used to track naval movements from the platforms off Crimea’s coast, the Defense Ministry’s GUR spy agency said in a statement on Monday. A Russian Su-30 fighter jet that engaged with Ukrainian forces on boats was damaged and retreated, GUR said.

The agency said intelligence units carried out a “unique operation” to retake the Petro Godovenets and Ukraina oil and gas drilling platforms, as well as the Tavryda and Syvash facilities. Russia’s Defense Ministry has made no mention of the operation.

The drilling platforms were purchased and installed in 2011 in area around the Odesa gas field, intended to be part of Ukraine’s oil-and-gas production infrastructure. Russia occupied them in 2015, a year after annexing Crimea from Ukraine, and relocated them closer to the peninsula.

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