On the morning of June 20, 2022, Ukrainian media and politicians reported on possible attacks on Russian-occupied maritime infrastructure in Ukraine on the Black Sea – Russian occupiers’ equipment and manpower, stationed on the Snake (Zmiiny) Island and on the drilling platforms of Ukraine’s “Chornomornaftogaz”, captured by the Russians in 2014.

Regarding the platforms, the experts later disseminated information about the destruction of the “Tavrida” drilling rig, which, according to them, caught fire and evacuation. In general, the “Tavrida” is a self-elevating drilling rig of the 1540 project, the service of which is related to work in the Black Sea, and it is designed to accommodate up to 60 people.

Later, the Russian invaders’ Crimean “administration” admitted the alleged defeat of the platforms. In particular, the fake “head of Crimea” Sergei Aksyonov said that there were allegedly 12 people on the platform, 5 of whom were “evacuated”, and the rest are allegedly being sought as part of a special operation”.

The fake “senator from the Crimea” Olga Kovitidi said about the alleged “three victims”, pointing out that the platform was damaged, which was allegedly “71 kilometers near Odessa”. Later, Sergei Aksyonov claimed that three platforms were allegedly damaged, up to 100 people located on them, some of which were “evacuated”.

At the same time, it is obvious that the few “victims”, mentioned by the Crimean collaborators do not correspond in number to the above-mentioned “capacity’ of the “Tavrida” drilling rig. It is obvious that the Russians will hide the losses among the Russian military men at this facility and vice versa – they will “bulge” the alleged “civilian” victims from among the “service personnel”.

At the same time, according to our Association’s expert Professor Boris Babin, the “Chornomornaftogaz” platforms seized by the Russian occupiers, are a legitimate military target, as they housed an armed Russian garrison, an active electronic warfare station and, according to some sources, Russian anti-aircraft guns.

In 2021, the Ukrainian military reported that the Russian occupiers had installed military and reconnaissance equipment on these drilling rigs, through which they collected information on the movement of ships from Ukraine and other countries and made unauthorized interventions in the navigation systems.

In particular, as co-ordinator of “Informational Resistance” Konstantin Mashovets pointed out, the occupiers installed a “Neva-BS” surveillance system and hydroacoustic control of the underwater situation on these platforms. Relevant platforms are “guarded and defended” by Russian “border guards” and “special forces” of the Black Sea Fleet.
It is noteworthy that immediately after the incident, Russian propaganda began to make “reassuring” statements that “nothing threatens Crimea” and “the absence of risks from gas production”.

Despite the falsity of these statements, it should be recalled that a week before the current situation, Romanian media reported on dangerous provocations of Russian warships a few kilometers from two Romanian drilling rigs located on the continental shelf of this country outside its territorial sea.

Therefore, “retaliatory” provocations of the aggressor in the Black Sea region may be expected, in particular “under someone else’s flag”, which may be directed not only against Ukraine, but also against the infrastructure of third countries.