Ukraine has carried out an intelligence raid on Crimea – and says it is the first of many (Photo: GUR / East2West News)

Ukrainian special forces carried out a daring attack on annexed Crimea this week – and commanders have warned Vladimir Putin that this is just the beginning.

A team of sixteen elite troops raided the peninsula in southern Ukraine, which has been under Russian occupation since 2014, early Wednesday morning.

Footage showed the Artan Special Forces Unit landing on the west coast with five jet skis and a high-speed boat before engaging the Russians in a fierce firefight.

Ukraine says it has inflicted “heavy losses” on its enemy, but admits it has suffered casualties of its own, including a soldier captured by Russian soldiers.

Their mission was subsequently publicized with videos showing Ukrainian troops raising the national flag on the coast during the raid.

But now Ukraine has warned Russia that many more similar covert sabotage operations are on the way – only this time they will be kept even more top secret.

Artan commander Viktor Torkotiuk indicated that missions that will not be announced are already underway and “will only be announced later.”

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“This is neither the first nor the last operation of the security and defense forces of Ukraine in the Crimean Peninsula,” he said.

“Most of it will only be found out later.” It involves systematic, planned and coordinated work by all units involved.

“The enemy will feel the consequences of our work for a long time.”

“Through our actions we continually remind the Russian invaders of the inevitability of the liberation of all occupied territories.”

Ukrainian special forces invade Crimea

Ukrainian special forces Artan carried out an attack in Crimea in the early hours of Wednesday morning (Photo: GUR / East2West News)

A team of 16 elite troops landed on the west coast of Crimea and became involved in a fierce firefight with a Russian soldier (Photo: GUR / East2West News)

A team of 16 elite troops landed on the west coast of Crimea and became involved in a fierce firefight with Russian soldiers (Photo: GUR / East2West News)

A small team of Ukrainian military intelligence officers traveled 360 kilometers across the Black Sea, from Vylkove at the mouth of the Danube to Crimea.

Under international law, the area is de facto Ukrainian territory, although occupied by Russia.

Upon arrival, they immediately encountered heavy fighting and a commander said: “The reconnaissance men of the Artan special unit of the Defense Intelligence Service of Ukraine landed on the west coast of the peninsula and on the Tendra and Kinburn peaks.”

“The men of the special forces fought a fierce battle with the Russian invaders in the occupied territories and inflicted significant losses on the enemy.”

Russia has arrested a member of the raid team named Alexander Lyubos, 46, who appeared on Russian television.

Alexander Lyubos, 46, a Ukrainian military intelligence hunter, was captured by Russian intelligence service FSB during the raid (Photo: East2West News)

Alexander Lyubos, 46, a Ukrainian military intelligence hunter, was captured by Russian intelligence service FSB during the raid (Photo: East2West News)

Alexander Lyubas, 46, a Ukrainian military intelligence hunter, was captured by Russian intelligence service FSB on October 4, 2023 in annexed Crimea.

Alexander Lyubas told the interrogators that he was a soldier from Unit 0336 and that their mission was to raise the Ukrainian flag (Photo: Zvezdanews / East2West News)

With his hands tied behind his back, he explained on a Russian Defense Ministry channel that he was a soldier from Unit 0336 of the Main Directorate of Defense Intelligence of Ukraine.

When questioned by his captors, he said the purpose of the mission was to raise a Ukrainian flag in Crimea.

“On the way back from a combat mission in Crimea, the Artan soldiers also fought at sea,” a Ukrainian commander added.

“The enemy tried to chase the special forces in fast patrol boats with air support.”

Ukrainian troops filmed themselves carrying the national flag, which was believed to be on the coast of Crimea (Photo: GUR / East2West News)

Ukrainian troops filmed themselves carrying the national flag, which was believed to be on the coast of Crimea (Photo: GUR / East2West News)

The Ukrainian unit traveled 360 kilometers across the Black Sea to invade Crimea (Photo: GUR / East2West News)

The Ukrainian unit traveled 360 kilometers across the Black Sea to invade Crimea (Photo: GUR / East2West News)

Kiev military intelligence spokesman Andrei Yusov said: “There was a battle with the Russian invaders.

“There were many dead and wounded among the invaders” [Russian] Staff.

“Unfortunately, among the Ukrainian defenders there are losses that are still not comparable to those of the Russian ones. A special operation to relieve Crimea continues.

“We appeal to all residents of the peninsula to wait and support the armed forces in every possible way in returning the Ukrainian territories.”

Ukraine says it has inflicted “heavy losses” on Russia – and also lost its own men in battle (Photo: GUR / East2West News)

Ukraine says it has inflicted “heavy losses” on Russia – and also lost its own men in battle (Photo: GUR / East2West News)

The troops used jet skis and a speedboat during the trip (Photo: GUR/East2West News)

The troops used jet skis and a speedboat during the trip (Photo: GUR/East2West News)

Russia claimed to have ‘repelled’ the attack and ‘liquidated’ the ‘sabotage team’, and an FSB statement said: ‘One of the saboteurs was captured.’

“The interrogation revealed that the subversive group planned to take photos and videos of its members on the territory of the Republic of Crimea, with the Ukrainian flag as the background.”

Putin’s appointed head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, claimed a body had been found in a wetsuit with two gunshot wounds.

He said he “died in a firefight with Russian border guards.”

In the Kharkiv region, Russia this week carried out a shocking rocket attack that hit a cafe and a shop, killing at least 52 civilians, including a six-year-old boy.

Gruesome images emerged on Friday of a 10-year-old boy in his pajamas being rescued from the rubble of his home after the strike hit the village of Hroza.

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