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Ukrainian Navy controls Black Sea part with oil rigs for over year: there is "grey zone" there

Tuesday, 12 September 2023, 12:14
Ukrainian Navy controls Black Sea part with oil rigs for over year: there is grey zone there
PHOTO: DIU

For over a year, the Coastal Rocket and Artillery Forces of the Ukrainian Navy have been in full control of the Black Sea part where gas and oil drilling platforms near Russian-occupied Crimea, known as the Boyko Towers, are located. The Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU) earlier reported the regaining of these platforms.

Source: Dmytro Pletenchuk, spokesman for the Ukrainian Navy, in an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Details: The Ukrainian Navy spokesperson said Russian warships stopped entering the area after the Russian tug Spasatel Vasily Bekh was sunk. (Vasily Bekh, which supplied the Russian Black Sea Fleet, sank in June 2022. Maksym Marchenko, the then Head of Odesa Oblast Military Administration, reported that the Ukrainian Navy hit the vessel)

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Quote: "They had a ship that transported weapons and personnel to Zmiinyi (Snake) Island. And after that, they drew their conclusions. And we have not seen any presence there for more than a year. But we could not rule out the potential for a sabotage group to go there using some other small craft, such as boats, to deliver personnel. So, of course, this operation was also quite risky, and, of course, the special forces could not rely on this information alone."

Details: The Ukrainian Navy spokesperson added that getting to the oil rigs on rubber boats was the most challenging part. The Ukrainian special forces risked their lives because, apart from the threat of sabotage groups landing on Boyko Towers from small boats, there was also a danger from above.

Pletenchuk noted that although the Ukrainian Navy has cleared the area of Russian warships, it may still be considered grey, as Russian aircraft are unfortunately still permanently present there. Russian warplanes perform reconnaissance and even carry out airstrikes.

Quote: "This problem must also be addressed. It lies on a broader scale. Of course, this situation would be resolved if we had the appropriate air defence equipment. I mean F-16 aircraft".

Background:

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