The head of Russia-annexed Crimea has accused Ukraine of firing upon an oil drilling platform in the Black Sea off the coast of the peninsula.
“This morning the enemy struck the drilling platforms of Chernomorneftegaz…I am in touch with colleagues from the Defense Ministry and the FSB. We are working to rescue people,” Aksyonov wrote in a post on the Telegram messaging app.
Aksyonov told state television that 109 workers had been on the three towers that were struck and that 21 of them have been evacuated.
Search-and-rescue efforts are ongoing for the missing workers, he said.
Ukrainian officials have not yet commented on the alleged strike.
Mikhail Sheremet, a lawmaker in Russia’s lower-house State Duma, said Moscow would respond with “retaliatory strikes” on Ukrainian “decision-making centers.”
The Russian state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited a source as saying that the Ukrainian army attacked the oil drilling platforms near Tarkhankut, the southwestern cape of the peninsula.
Chernomorneftegaz is an oil and gas company that operates gas and oil fields in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
The strike is the first reported Ukrainian attack against offshore energy infrastructure in Crimea since the start of Moscow’s invasion in late February.