A damaged church in the frontline town of Orikhiv, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine, 07 September 2023, amid the Russian invasion. EFE-EPA FILE/KATERYNA KLOCHKO

Kyiv claims to have freed oil platforms in Black Sea, 5 kms on southern front from Russia

Kyiv, Sep 11 (EFE). – The Ukrainian military on Monday claimed it has regained control of four oil extraction platforms in the Black Sea near Crimea as well as five kilometers of territory from the Russian forces at two different spots on the southern front.

“The unique operation to take control of ‘Boyka Towers’ was carried out by units of GUR (the Main Intelligence Directorate) of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. In particular, the drilling platforms (named) Petro Godovalets, Ukraine, Tavrida and Sivash were brought back under control,” the military intelligence said in a statement.

The GUR explained that the Boyka towers were gas and oil extraction platforms, situated near the coast of Crimea in the Black Sea.

“Russia occupied them in 2015, and, with the beginning of a full-scale invasion (of Ukraine), used them for military purposes. Specifically, as helicopter pads and for the placement of radar systems,” the statement added.

According to the GUR, during the operation Ukrainian Special Forces managed to capture a stockpile of unguided air-to-air missiles, and a “Neva” type radar system, which can track the movement of ships in the Black Sea.

As per the statement, a brief battle also took place between Ukrainian Special Forces on boats and a Russian Su-30 fighter jet.

“The Russian aircraft was damaged and forced to retreat,” it claimed.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, Hanna Maliar, claimed separately on Monday that the Ukrainian military has gained control of nearly five kilometers of territory in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia provinces in the south and southeast of the country over the past week.

Maliar wrote on her Telegram channel that Ukrainian forces had liberated nearly 256.5 kilometers of territory since the beginning of their counteroffensive in early June.

Ukrainian forces have been waging a counteroffensive against Russian forces mainly on three different frontlines in eastern province of Donetsk and southeastern province of Zaporizhia since early June. EFE