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Frontline report: Small Ukrainian boats operated in the vicinity of Crimea, likely targeting air defense on the shore

On 23 August 2023, a Russian fighter jet was shot down near oil rigs 30 km west of Crimea, while Russian S-400 air defense system was destroyed on the shore. Available footage indicates that Ukrainian boats operated near oil rigs. Also, Ukrainians stole Russian helicopter, making an agreement with its pilot.
Screenshot from the video released by Ukraine’s Intelligence about operation of boats in the vicinity of Crimea

It was officially confirmed that Ukrainians won the battle for Robotyne in the Orikhiv direction of the southern frontline. The warriors from the 47th Mechanized Brigade raised the Ukrainian flag in the southern part of the village, showing that there were no Russians left, even on the outskirts.

Ukrainian forces conducted a special operation near the oil rigs that are located between Odesa and Crimea. The rigs were abandoned last year, which is why Ukrainians are using them for reconnaissance and surveillance and assistance in greater attacks in the Black Sea.

Russians understood the danger, so when they detected the group of boats, they sent a fighter jet, Su-30, to destroy them. Unfortunately for Russians, not only did the pilot miss the target, but Ukrainians also immediately retaliated and successfully hit the Su-30 back.

It turned out that Ukrainians equipped their boats with air defense systems, anti-tank missiles, and even anti-ship missiles, making any encounter deadly.

Around the same time, Ukrainians conducted a successful strike on the Crimean peninsula. The target of the strike became the Russian air defense system S-400 near Olenivka, in the north-western part of the peninsula. It is important to note that the strike happened under the supervision of a Ukrainian drone, which got extremely close to the shore without any problems. Interestingly, some Russian analysts said that this event is connected to the Ukrainian operations near the oil rigs. As already mentioned, these boats have a plethora of missile systems, so it’s been speculated that Ukrainians conducted the strike from the anti-ship system Brimstone II. Given that Ukrainian boats operated just 30 km from the shore, Brimstone would have no difficulties in destroying targets on the shore.

In the meantime, Russian forces lost a helicopter. Recently released footage revealed that a Russian helicopter landed somewhere near the border in the Kharkiv region. Ukrainian Intelligence confirmed that this was a planned special operation and that they successfully stole the Russian aircraft. Moreover, the helicopter was loaded with equipment for fighter jets Su-27 and Su-30, which will be very useful for Ukrainians as well. The pilot was reportedly hired by the Ukrainian Intelligence, his family was in advance evacuated to Ukraine, and he joined them once the operation was completed. There were also two more unsuspecting crew members who did not expect to land in Ukraine. They refused to cooperate and tried to resist but were immediately liquidated.

It was finally confirmed on 23 August 2023 that the Head of the Russian Air Force, Sergey Surovikin, was fired by Putin. Even though formally he was removed from a military position and transferred to some clergy position in the Defense Ministry, many sources claim that he is in deep trouble. The general disappeared right after Wagner’s coup. It was reported that Surovikin supported the coup and aimed to become the Minister of Defense, which is why he was immediately arrested and kept away from the public eye. Over the last 2 months, the whole Surovikin’s circle was reportedly liquidated on the ground of treason, even though officially nothing was happening inside the Ministry.

When it comes to the Wager chief himself, Evgeniy Progozin, today, his private plane crushed when he was traveling to Moscow. It was reported that the records show that Prigozhin was present on the plane. Moreover, Prigozhin’s right hand, Dmytro Utkin, who actually created the Wagner Group, was also on the plane, and the Head of Security and Logistics of the Wagner Group was on that plane as well. There were no survivors, which means that the most important people who conducted the coup are dead.

Interestingly, the locals reported seeing contrails under the plane and hearing two explosions, which is characteristic of air defense work. Furthermore, the plane was falling without wings, which suggests that they broke off as a result of an impact. The remnants of the plane also have damage characteristic of a missile explosion. All of that indicates that the plane was shot down by the Russian air defense system.

Conveniently, Russian sources reported that for unknown reasons, the plane violated the safety protocol, switched off its transponder, and disappeared from radars right above the vast fields in the Tver region. Given that Ukrainians conducted a drone strike on Moscow the same day, Russian sources reported that the violation of safety protocols led to the misidentification of the object by the air defense operators, who shot the plane down, thinking it was a drone. Wagner-affiliated sources, however, claim that this was a planned assassination and say that the Wagner Group will retaliate.

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