Ukraine commandos carry out a jet ski operation on a Russian base in Crimea

According to information published by the Times on October 2, 2023, in a covert operation, elite Ukrainian commandos, aboard jet skis, targeted a prominent Russian electronic warfare station in Crimea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Ukrainian commandos on jet skis. (Picture source: SBU)

On Ukraine's Independence Day, August 24, approximately 20 soldiers from the Brotherhood Battalion embarked on this high-stakes mission. Covering a distance of 125 miles across the Black Sea, each jet ski transported two Ukrainian frogmen to their destination.

The station in question, described by the battalion commander, Borghese, was so potent that "not even a compass could function within a 20-mile radius of its location." Notably, this station had previously intercepted drone strikes and monitored British Storm Shadow missiles.

Levan, the deputy leader of the elite Timur group, disclosed to The Times that he had dedicated two weeks to practice the jet ski journey in preparation for the mission. During the operation, a fleet of five Ukrainian support ships provided a diversion by firing at Russian defenses.

Although the initial strategy involved planting explosives at the site, the commandos had to shift to a secondary plan due to detection. They subsequently attacked the station using anti-tank weaponry and rocket-propelled grenades.

The mission didn't conclude without challenges. Post-attack, Russian forces pursued the Ukrainian team with warplanes and Raptor patrol boats, leading to an intense and swift evacuation.

Storm Shadow's threat

The Storm Shadow missile, developed primarily by the UK and France, is a long-range, air-launched cruise missile. Given its capabilities, intercepting such missiles is vital for Russia, particularly in a strategic region like Crimea.

It is designed to strike heavily defended targets from a significant distance without the launch aircraft entering enemy airspace. Given its long-range and stealth capabilities, it poses a genuine threat to key military installations.