(VitalNews.org) – The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has released footage of a pre-dawn mission that saw special forces strike a Russian stronghold in Crimea on Ukraine’s Independence Day, August 24. The 45-second-long clip shows a soldier stood on board a boat, travelling quickly across the water in the dark. Later in the clip, Ukrainian soldiers are seen to hang their flag against a small wooden building, posing for a photograph while they work by torchlight.
The expedition involved more than flags and photographic mementos, however. The Ukrainian Ministry has hailed it as a success, one which claimed the lives of several Russian personnel and inflicted serious damages onto enemy military equipment. The hours-long mission was the result of a month of training and preparatory work and resulted in Ukrainian forces stepping onto Crimean soil for the first time since it was annexed by Russia in 2014.
A group of 20 frogmen on jet-skis, all members of the Brotherhood Battalion, travelled 125 miles over the sea in order to reach their target. They were supported by five other naval vessels whose task it was to create a diversion and provide cover for the Brotherhood soldiers. The five Ukrainian ships fired missiles at Russian positions while the frogmen moved in on their own targets.
Battalion Commander Borghese, who led the mission, told reporters that there were several obstacles that could have thwarted the mission that day. The first Russian target was an electronic warfare station that prevented compasses from working correctly within a 20-mile perimeter, making locating the target under cover of darkness that bit more difficult. During the mission, Russian forces spotted the frogmen at work, meaning they had to abandon their original plan of setting explosives, instead retreating and using rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank weapons in order to destroy their targets.
A battle commenced for several hours which saw Russian forces striking back at the Ukrainian support ships, even as the jet-ski riders made their way back to them. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense confirmed that while several Russian personnel were killed, none of the Ukrainian forces lost their lives in the mission.
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