On September 11th, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense announced the execution of a unique special operation in the Black Sea involving offshore drilling platforms known as the "Boiko Towers."
These so-called "Boiko Towers" are gas drilling platforms known as the "Petr Godovanets" and "Ukraine." They were built near the coast of Crimea in 2010 and 2012 and belonged to "Chornomornaftogaz." They received their unofficial name due to the involvement of Yuriy Boiko, then Minister of Energy, in their acquisition. These installations were positioned in the territorial waters of Ukraine on the Odessa gas field, near Snake Island, and 100 kilometers from Odessa. In 2014, after the annexation of Crimea, the towers were seized and renamed "Crimea-1" and "Crimea-2," and in December 2015, they were relocated to the Golitsyn field near the coast of Crimea. The Russians used them illegally for gas extraction on the Ukrainian continental shelf.
At the beginning of the large-scale invasion, the aggressor state used them for military purposes, including serving as helicopter platforms and for placing technical means for monitoring surface conditions in the Black Sea.
As a result of the special military operation conducted by the Special Operations Forces of the Main Directorate of Intelligence, the drilling platforms "Petr Godovanets" and "Ukraine," as well as self-lifting drilling installations "Tavrida" and "Sivash" in the maritime area between Snake Island and the western coast of Crimea, were brought under control.
According to the Ukrainian military intelligence, in one of the phases of the operation, the special forces of the Main Directorate of Intelligence clashed with a Russian Su-30 fighter jet. The Russian aircraft was damaged during the skirmish and was forced to retreat. Additionally, Ukrainian special forces managed to seize stocks of unguided aviation missiles and a radar station called "Neva," capable of tracking ship movements in the Black Sea.
Thanks to the operation conducted by Ukraine, Russia lost some of its capabilities for surveillance and attacking Ukrainian forces, while the Ukrainian defense forces gained these capabilities.
The restoration of control over the drilling platforms directly near the coast of Crimea indicates the expansion of operational capabilities of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the Black Sea and marks another step toward the liberation of the currently temporarily occupied Crimea. The operation conducted by the Main Directorate of Intelligence on the drilling platforms also holds significant symbolic value. Ukraine is beginning to reclaim what was seized by Russia prior to the full-scale invasion.