"Head" of the Russian-occupied Crimea claims Ukrainian forces attacked drilling rigs in the Black Sea
20 June, 2022
Self-elevating floating drilling rig "Petro Godovanets," one of the "Boyko towers." Photo: Radio Svoboda / Volodymyr Prytula

"Head" of the Russian-occupied Crimea Sergey Aksyonov claims Ukrainian forces struck drilling rigs in the Black Sea, known as "Boyko towers," which Russia seized during the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The official claims that after the attack, the Russian forces managed to save five people, three of whom were injured. The search operation for the rest of the people involving patrol vessels and aircraft continues.

People's Deputy Oleksiy Honcharenko also said about the Ukrainian strike on the "Boyko towers," saying that the missile strike on the towers slightly hindered Russian gas production in the Black Sea.

However, the Ukrainian military command has not yet confirmed or denied this information.

"Boyko towers"

"Boyko towers" is a criminal proceeding related to illegal transactions of Naftogaz and Chornomornaftogaz (Naftogaz affiliated company) in 2011-2013.

The case relates to the purchase of compliant towers at an inflated price for oil and gas production on the Black Sea shelf. Yuriy Boyko, pro-Russian People's Deputy from Opposition Platform – For Life and former Minister of Energy, is allegedly involved in this transaction. At the same time, the Prosecutor General's Office did not find direct evidence of Boyko's involvement in the scheme.

According to the criminal proceeding, in March-September 2010, the scheme participants planned to purchase two self-elevating floating drilling rigs not directly from the manufacturer — Keppel Offshore, Marine Limited Group (Singapore) — but through controlled fictitious enterprises. As a result, the price totaled $404.4 million, while the " towers " market price was $210 million. According to investigators, the rest of the funds were laundered through offshore companies.

In 2014, Russia seized drilling rigs during the annexation of Crimea. In 2015, the court arrested "Boyko's towers."