Ukrainian commandos on jet skis conducted a mission to damage a Russian electronic warfare station in Crimea.
Members of the group told The Times of London how they carried out their covert and daring mission.
The group had also been tasked with flying a Ukrainian flag on the peninsula for the first time in a decade.
A unit of Ukrainian commandos traveled covertly across the Black Sea on jet skis in a daring raid on a Russian electronic warfare station in Crimea, a report says.
A group of about 20 soldiers from the Brotherhood Battalion carried out the mission on Ukraine’s Independence Day, August 24, The Times of London reported.
Each jet ski carried two Ukrainian frogmen and traveled 125 miles across the sea to reach the peninsula.
“Our first target was an electronic warfare station so powerful not even a compass could work within 20 miles of the shore,” Borghese, the battalion commander who coordinated the mission on the day, told The Times.
The electronic warfare station had thwarted drone strikes and tracked British Storm Shadow missiles.
Levan, the second in command of the elite special forces regiment the Timur group, told The Times that he spent two weeks practicing the journey on a jet ski before their mission.
While the unit approached the peninsula, five Ukrainian support ships fired at Russian positions as a diversion tactic, per The Times.
The original plan was to place explosives at the site before leaving, but the soldiers were spotted and had to resort to their backup plan, and instead struck it with anti-tank weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, Borghese told The Times.
The commandos need to be “battle swimmers” with a “belief in God”
The Timur group had also been tasked by Ukraine’s spy chief Kyrylo Budanov, to raise a Ukrainian flag on the peninsula for the first time in nearly a decade, The Times reported.
At the time, Ukraine’s intelligence agency GUR said that a successful mission had been carried out which involved destroying enemy equipment, and said that the “state flag flew again in the Ukrainian Crimea.”
After the attack, Russian forces chased the Ukrainian soldiers using warplanes and Raptor patrol boats, prompting a rapid and dramatic evacuation.
“It was a battle for several hours of all these modern defense systems and aviation,” Levan said.
The unit’s name refers to a religious aspect of its mission. Its recruitment posters appeal for “battle swimmers” with a “belief in God,” The Times said.
Levan claims that his group’s mission was the catalyst for the following attacks.
“I’m proud of my guys, the courage of our fighters and their incredible physical training. You can see that after we landed on the peninsula, a lot of interesting things started to happen there. I can tell you that this mission triggered all of this. It worked to make the enemy more vulnerable,” said Levan.
“We now have the means to plan and execute even larger operations. There’s a lot more to come.”
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