Russia Accuses Ukraine of Bombing its Oil, Gas Drilling Platforms

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Russia has accused Ukraine military forces of attacking its offshore oil and gas drilling platforms in the Black Sea yesterday.

A senator representing Crimea in Russia’s upper house of parliament, Olga Kovitidi, reportedly told Russian news agency Interfax, that gas production is temporarily halted from the platforms, even though there are no disaster-like consequences.

According to a post on Telegram by Sergei Askyonov, who was appointed as head of the peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, Ukrainian forces attacked drilling platforms of the company Chernomorneftegaz in the Black Sea.

Askyonov said he was in contact with the Russian ministry of defense and with the Federal Security Service (FSB), the main successor of the KGB.

It will recalled that after the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, Crimea-based oil and gas exploration company Chernomorneftegaz, which operates in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Chernomorneftegaz has been under U.S. and EU sanctions since 2014. Five people, including three injured, have been rescued after today’s attack on the platform, the Russia-installed official of Crimea said.

The report said a search and rescue operation is ongoing. At the time of the attack, there were 109 people on the three drilling rigs in the Black Sea, Askyonov told Russian state TV.

In an update on the attack, he said that 21 people were evacuated, five were injured, and search operations were being carried out for the rest.

Russian lawmaker Mikhail Sheremet said that Russia would respond with “retaliatory strikes” on Ukrainian “decision-making centers,” The Moscow Times reports was quoted yesterday.

A Reuter’s account yesterday said the Ukrainian military declined comment on the Russian attack allegations on drilling platforms, insisting that it could not verify the report.

Meanwhile, the fight over the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine intensifies, with Ukrainian deputy defense minister, Hanna Maliar reportedly telling the Associated Press that the Kremlin had ordered the Russian military to overrun the entire Luhansk region by next Sunday.

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