Russian officers who were displeased with their delayed salary payments, according to Ukrainian media, were behind a key intelligence leak that led to a catastrophic missile attack on the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in the seized Crimean peninsula.
In an interview with the Kyiv Post, Ukrainian resistance fighters disclosed that they had managed to obtain sensitive information regarding high-ranking Russian commanders through officers who had grown increasingly disillusioned with Moscow’s failure to meet their salary obligations.
In exchange for this valuable information, these officers were financially compensated. This intelligence was subsequently shared with state agencies, allegedly forming the basis for a recent attack on the Black Sea Fleet’s headquarters.
A spokesperson for the partisan movement of Ukrainians and Tatars in Crimea (ATESH) explained.
“Delays in payments alone do not force the military armed forces of the Russian Federation to go against the Russian authorities. But the financial reward only helps them to decide on cooperation with the ATESH movement; it serves as an additional incentive.”
Ukrainian Forces Strike Black Sea Fleet HQ with Western-Made Cruise Missiles
The attack on the Black Sea Fleet’s headquarters in Sevastopol on the southwestern edge of Crimea occurred last Friday when Ukrainian forces launched several Western-made Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles.
Images and videos of the assault depicted the moment one of these missiles struck the building and the extensive structural damage inflicted upon the facility.
The Ukrainian military claimed to have timed the strike to coincide with Russia’s naval leadership meeting.
They reported that 34 individuals, including Adm. Viktor Sokolov, the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, were killed, with another 105 individuals injured.
Independent verification of these claims was not immediately available.
The precise compensation provided to the Russian officers remains undisclosed, and their identities remain unknown.
However, ATESH revealed that they had access to the activities of the Black Sea Fleet’s leadership, with information being shared with state agencies such as the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Ukrainian Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR).
The latter confirmed its collaboration with partisans to target Russian positions around Crimea.
“The Russian military is well aware of the existence of the partisan movement and throws all their forces and means to suppress it and identify our agents,” the ATESH spokesperson stated. “The growing resistance among the Crimeans confuses them very much.”
The missile strike on the Black Sea Fleet’s headquarters is the latest in a series of attacks by Ukrainian forces over the past few weeks, targeting high-value Russian positions and assets in Crimea.
Kyiv has steadfastly pledged to liberate the region, which has been under Russian occupation for nearly a decade.