On Wednesday evening, Russia's Defense Ministry invited the Ukrainian Defense Attaché in Russia for the delivery of a military-diplomatic note in connection with the Ukrainian aircraft’s flyby near the drill towers in the Black Sea. Interfax-Ukraine reported the details.
"The delivered note emphasized that the actions of the Ukrainian aircraft were regarded as provocative," said the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Major-General Igor Konashenkov. According to him, the Defense Ministry expressed protest to the Ukrainian attaché.
"On February 1, from 11:30 to 12:00, a Ukrainian An-26 plane made two dangerous approaches near the Russian Tavrida and Crimea-1 drilling rigs at extremely low altitude, which posed a security threat to their personnel and equipment," Konashenkov claims.
On Wednesday, February 1, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said that the An-26 transport plane of the Ukrainian Armed Forces was shelled from the Russian-occupied drilling rigs in the Black Sea. According to him, as a result of the firing, the aircraft was damaged. The crew was not hurt and the aircraft continued to fly.
Poltorak said that in addition, the crew discovered and recorded the operation of a Russian radar station in active mode, which is normally used for missile guidance of air defense systems.
The Russian State Unitary Enterprise Chernomorneftegaz, which illegally took possession of the assets of the Chornomornaftogaz Ukrainian Company after the annexation of Crimea, annually produces 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas on the shelf of the Black Sea.
Ukrainian border guards have repeatedly reported about the illegal placement of drilling platforms in Ukrainian waters. Ukraine has prepared a lawsuit against the Russian Federation in connection with the unauthorized extraction of minerals in Ukrainian territorial waters.