Ukrainian special operations troops riding jet skis or small boats landed in Russia-held territory in Crimea before making a successful escape, a statement and video made public by the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) claimed on Wednesday.
The drone video shot in low light conditions shows men on two-person watercraft the size of a large jet ski moving towards a shoreline in the dark. There appear to be eight carriers.
According to the HUR statement, the images were captured “near the shore of Crimea.”
Near the shore in shallow water, some riders get off the jet ski and help push it towards land in waist-deep water.
A statement backed by patriotic music following the video declares Crimea Ukrainian territory which the Ukrainian military will return to Ukrainian control or leave deserted. Another shot shows Ukrainian soldiers holding a Ukrainian flag.
A report from the UNIAN news agency said two Ukrainian command units called Stuhni and Bratsvo participated in the raid and that “Moscow occupiers received damage from gunfire.” There were no details and the video showed a peaceful operation without shooting.
Russian information platforms said the video was manufactured and possibly produced earlier, to cover up failures of Ukrainian shore raids.
Early on Wednesday the opposition Russian news platform Astra reported that according to the Kremlin, during the night Russian military forces turned back an attempted Ukrainian commando raid against Crimea, with losses.
The very pro-Kremlin Readovka channel reported one Ukrainian special operator was taken prisoner after a firefight. A video posted on the channel showed a fit man telling captors he was an HUR operative participating in the raid.
The mission goal of the amphibious operation, the man said in the video, was to create video content in Crimea with the Ukrainian flag.
Kyiv Post reached out to the HUR for commentary on the operations, and the Directorate’s spokesperson Andrei Yusov replied:
"The planned efforts of the Ukrainian security and defense forces are ongoing. This is an operation led by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, with the objective of de-occupying the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.
“Of course, these are not one-time actions, but comprehensive planned work. The operation unfolded along the western coast of Crimea and involved several special units from the HUR of the Ministry of Defense. Here is the information we can provide at this time.
“We can confirm that significant losses were incurred by the Russian forces as a result of combat between our HUR special units and the occupying personnel. (Our HUR soldiers) engaged in battle against a significantly larger enemy force and successfully executed their assigned tasks,” said Yusov on Oct. 4.
When asked about the accuracy of information circulating in Russian media regarding the alleged capture of a HUR officer, Yusov told Kyiv Post, “We do not comment on information propagated by Russian propaganda, as it is disseminated within the framework of the Russian IPSO.”
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