Russia and Ukraine are battling it out over gas and oil platforms in the Black Sea, UK Ministry of Defence says
- Russia and Ukraine are battling over strategic gas and oil platforms in the Black Sea.
- The platforms are operated by the Chernomorneftegaz company, which was seized by pro-Russian authorities.
Fighting has been breaking out around gas and oil platforms in the Black Sea, according to a new update on the Russia-Ukraine war from the UK Ministry of Defence.
The update, which was shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, said that air and naval forces had been battling it out around strategic platforms between Crimea and Odesa.
"The platforms are operated by the Chernomorneftegaz company, which was seized by the pro-Russian occupation authorities in Crimea during the 2014 annexation," the report says.
"Ukraine has struck several Russian-controlled platforms. Both Russia and Ukraine have also periodically occupied them with troops," it adds.
The platforms offer "valuable hydrocarbon resources" and could be used to hold missile systems, land helicopters, or as forward deployment bases.
The Black Sea is a key spot in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and it has become a hotbed of military activity in the war.
The Ministry of Defence's update says one Russian fighter jet shot at a Ukrainian military boat that was close to a platform in the north-west of the sea last week.
Ukraine has also struck several Russian-controlled platforms in the Black Sea, including three gas platforms that Russia had converted into "small garrisons."
Last year, military expert Oleg Zhdanov said that the towers were like the "ears and eyes of the Russian Black Sea Fleet," according to Offshore Energy.
Ukraine has also used many of its hi-tech sea drones in the area, with Ukrainian intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov saying they had successfully paralyzed Russia's Black Sea fleet using the drones.
Budanov added that the naval drones were a highly effective "deterrent" despite 60-70% of them being destroyed by Russian forces.
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