Ukraine attacks Crimean oil rigs

Ukrainian forces attacked drilling rigs in the Black Sea owned by a Crimean oil and gas company, the pro-Russian head of the annexed peninsula said on Monday, without giving details of what weapons were used.

Three people were injured and seven energy company workers are being sought. ChernomorneftegazSergei Askyonov, the Russian-appointed leader of Crimea, said in a post on Telegram.

Crimean officials said work on three drilling rigs was suspended after the attack, amid reports of fires.

Reuters could not immediately verify the reports. The Ukrainian military declined to comment.

Russian-backed officials seized Chernomorneftegaz from Ukraine’s national gas operator, Naftogazwithin the framework of the annexation of the peninsula by Moscow in 2014.

The company is subject to sanctions from the United States and the European Union.

Askyonov said that Ukraine attacked the platform at 0800 hours, when 109 people were working on the platforms in the area.

The platforms are located off Ukraine’s southern Black Sea coast, 71 kilometers from Odessa, the RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing Olga Kovitidi, a senator representing Crimea in the Russian upper house of parliament.

Russian officials have expressed concern that Ukrainian military figures say they would like to attack Crimean infrastructure – such as the Kerch Bridge, which links Crimea to Russia – as part of a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south.

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