Ukraine has claimed to have carried out a sabotage and reconnaissance operation on the occupied Crimean peninsula.
The mission was undertaken by an unknown number of military personnel who reached the target area, northwestern Crimea, by both boats and jet skis, Ukraine alleged.
A black-and-white video shared by Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence (DIU) shows a number of boats approaching the coast.
Soldiers aren’t portrayed carrying out any attack, but a few boats are filmed returning to the sea at a later stage. The clip ends with soldiers holding up a Ukrainian flag.
The DIU said Ukrainian fighters “landed on the territory of the Crimean peninsula and inflicted fire on the Moscow occupiers”.
Andriy Yusov, the spokesperson for the DIU, acknowledged Ukrainians also lost their lives in the raid.
He told Ukrainian media outlet RBC: “[DIU fighters] had a fierce battle in the occupied Crimea. The Russians suffered significant losses, and our groups have already returned from the special operation.”
While the intelligence didn’t clarify the time and date of the video, UNITED24 Media, the Ukrainian government’s media platform, shared the same clip with a note reading October 4.
Russian state media seemingly confirmed this operation, as they claimed on Wednesday its air force had blocked an attempt by Kyiv to “land a landing force near Cape Tarkhankut in Crimea from three jet skis and one speedboat in the northwestern part of the Black Sea”.
Moscow also claimed to have captured one of the Ukrainian saboteurs which, in a video reportedly released by the Russian security service, could be seen being interrogated.
Russia claimed the person held captive was a DIU member who told interrogators the purpose of the raid was to plant the Ukrainian flag on Crimean soil.
Ukraine, which is believed to have last carried out a similar operation in August, rarely speaks publicly about such operations.
But Crimea, occupied and annexed by Russia in 2014, is increasingly becoming a target of Ukrainian attacks.
Last month, a top aide of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, told Italian news outlet Corriere.it Moscow’s troops will “panic” if his country’s troops manage to eliminate Crimea as a military logistics centre feeding troops and ammunition to Russians on the frontline.
As a result, he said two months after Ukraine hit Kerch Bridge, the West can expect “an increase of our attacks” against Crimea.