20 June, 01:42 PM

Ukraine strikes at offshore Black Sea gas rigs

Ukraine's Armed Forces have attacked offshore natural gas drilling rigs in the Black Sea which had been captured by Russia in 2014, Ukrainian MP Oleksii Honcharenko said in a Telegram post on June 20.

“Our missile units caused a little accident at Boyko’s towers,” said Honcharenko.

“A (Ukrainian) missile strike has somewhat impeded Russian (natural) gas extraction in Ukraine’s Black Sea waters.”

The attack was confirmed by the so-called “leader” of Russia-occupied Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, via Telegram.

According to Aksyonov, five people were rescued from the rigs, including three injured. Search and rescue operations are ongoing.

Ukraine purchased these natural gas offshore drilling platforms in 2011-2012. The deal was widely criticized, as the cost was double of their market price. The rigs became known as the notorious “Boyko’s towers,” after then-Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko, an ally of the fugitive former president Viktor Yanukovych.

During the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia seized these offshore facilities. They were later used for reconnaissance, besides natural gas extraction.

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