Espresso will explain what the “Boika” towers are, their meaning and exactly how they came back under the control of Ukraine.
What is the text about:
- What are “Boika” towers and their significance for Ukraine
- The scandalous history of the appearance of the stations and how they got the name “Boika towers”
- Sea raiding: how the aggressor country captured multimillion-dollar towers
- Platforms “Petro Godovanets” and “Ukraine”: the situation during a full-scale invasion
- The return of “Boyk Towers” under Ukrainian control
What are “Boika” towers and their significance for Ukraine
Boika rigs are oil and gas drilling platforms located in the Black Sea.
Drilling platforms located in the Black Sea have an important strategic, economic and security significance for both Ukraine and the Russian occupiers. They provide an opportunity to control the sea and partially air situation in the south of the region.
Before the occupation, the installations were located at a distance of about one hundred kilometers from the mainland of Ukraine and more than one hundred and fifty kilometers from the Crimea. They are two platforms: B312 – “Petro Godovanets” and B319 – “Ukraine” (“Independence”), built in 2010 and 2012, respectively. After the development of new deposits in the shelf part of the Black Sea, they had to increase the production of natural gas and oil several times.
“Boika Towers” are not only stations for the extraction of valuable hydrocarbons, they have an important strategic importance, because they impress with the versatility of their use as: a reconnaissance base, a refueling station, a helicopter pad, a warehouse for ammunition, and even a place for the placement of long-range jet systems actions With the help of these towers, control over Zmiiny Island, Crimea and general monitoring of the Black Sea water area took place.
The scandalous history of the appearance of the stations and how they got the name “Boika towers”
At that time, the story of the acquisition of offshore drilling rigs caused a great resonance and considerable indignation among the public, because it was about embezzlement of public funds worth millions of dollars. Since then, the incident has received its name in the mass media as “Boik’s towers”.
During Yuriy Boyk’s tenure as head of the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine, namely in 2011, the Ministry-controlled Chornomornaftogaz, which is a subsidiary of Naftogaz of Ukraine, purchased an offshore platform manufactured in Singapore, not from the direct manufacturer, but through intermediary – the British company “Highway Investments Processing”, for which 400 million dollars were spent. This amount turned out to be 150 million dollars more expensive than that of the manufacturing plant. The second drilling rig was similarly bought through the intermediary “Ryza Shipyard” with approximately the same overpayment.
Subsequently, already in 2014, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine opened criminal proceedings on the case of misuse by unknown persons who acted on behalf of officials of Chornomornaftogaz DJSC with state funds in the amount of more than 300 million dollars. The offense was qualified as a violation of Part 5 of Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which refers to illegal possession of property as a result of abuse of official position on a large scale or by an organized group. Then, all the suspicions came down to Yanukovych, Bakulin, Arbuzov, a group of people from Naftogaz, ChNF, etc.
Sea raiding: how the aggressor country captured multimillion-dollar towers
After the annexation of Crimea, Russia began to actively carry out raiding operations in the Black Sea. On March 19, 2014, the then Minister of Energy of Ukraine, Yuriy Prodan, announced that a group of armed individuals illegally seized the drilling facilities of the well-known Ukrainian company Chornomornaftogaz, including the Boyka rigs.
The international community “InformNapalm” conducted a series of investigations into the illegal seizure of two self-elevating floating drilling rigs and found that the soldiers of the 104th Airborne Assault Regiment of the 76th Division of the Russian Air Force participated in this seizure.
In 2015, the State Border Service of Ukraine checked information on the movement of the Petro Godovanets and Ukraina platforms, during which it was discovered that the installations were taken away from the mainland of Ukraine, accompanied by a convoy, in the direction of the Karkinit Bay of the Crimean Peninsula to the Golitsynskoe field.
Later, it became known that the Russians turned off the transponders on the platforms that transmit data about the vessels on the radio. Since then, captured Ukrainian oil and gas towers on the Black Sea shelf have become military objects. They were equipped with means of radio-technical intelligence, which fully controlled traffic through Ukrainian seaports.
Platforms “Petro Godovanets” and “Ukraine”: the situation during a full-scale invasion
On June 20, 2022, the Armed Forces of Ukraine probably launched a missile attack on the Boyka towers. Ukrainian deputy Oleksiy Goncharenko made this information public in his Telegram channel. Confirmation of the fire on the rigs could be seen from NASA images.
Although the floating drilling rigs were in the exclusive (marine) economic zone of Ukraine, this area is considered very dangerous because of the deposits themselves. This is exactly what the head of the press center of the “South” Defense Forces, Nataliya Humenyuk, announced during the telethon: “Gas condensate fields are a dangerous area where the use of weapons can have very powerful consequences. That is why there were more negotiations, threats, provocations by general maneuvering, etc. But fire confrontations did not take place precisely because of the danger of the area.”
The return of “Boyk Towers” under Ukrainian control
On September 11, 2023, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the IOM reported that Ukraine had returned the Petro Godovanets, Ukraina, as well as Tavrida and Sivash platforms under its control after 8 years of occupation.
The press service of the GUR reported on the details of the secret special operation and unique shots of the battle. Despite the unfavorable stormy conditions at sea, the fighters still achieved their goal: they cleared the territory, dismantled all the reconnaissance equipment on the towers, in particular the “Niva” radar station. This installation monitored all events in the Black Sea. The bonus turned out to be the capture of stocks of unguided aircraft missiles, which the fighters found in the engine room.
Photo: Main Directorate of Intelligence
Scouts conduct the operation in several stages, moving to the station on high-speed rubber boats. Unfortunately, during one of the combat sorties, the special forces encountered an enemy Su-30 combat fighter. During the battle, our soldiers attacked the enemy with all available weapons, and with MANPADS they managed to shoot down the enemy plane, so he had to retreat.
Photo: Main Directorate of Intelligence
One of the special forces with the call sign “Conon” was overboard during the battle on the water. It was only two hours later that he was found with the help of a drone. But due to the constant maneuvering of the Russian military, it was not possible to get the defender out of the water right away. In total, he spent more than 14 hours on the open sea, showing remarkable strength and endurance.
In this way, it can be summarized that Russia is even more losing control over the grain corridor, and Ukraine is taking small but very significant steps closer to the return of Crimea and our victory!