Opération « Réveil de la force » : le jour où des soldats ukrainiens d’élite ont planté un drapeau en Crimée

Quatre membres du groupe « Timur » des forces spéciales du GUR, le renseignement militaire ukrainien, en septembre 2023.

The lieutenant colonel “Timur” and the elite soldiers of his unit may one day enter the history of Ukraine for being the first fighters to plant a Ukrainian flag on Crimean soil on August 24, the country’s Independence Day, for the first time in nearly ten years. The memory of their military achievement, a “symbolically very important” action, according to Timur, will depend on whether or not this territory is reclaimed.

Première région d’Ukraine annexée par la Russie en 2014, la Crimée est le symbole de la volonté ukrainienne de revenir aux frontières de 1991, l’année de l’indépendance du pays. « Tout a commencé en Crimée et tout finira en Crimée », a coutume de répéter le président ukrainien, Volodymyr Zelensky, à ses interlocuteurs étrangers.

Alors que les opérations secrètes de la direction générale du renseignement militaire ukrainien (GUR) ne sont généralement pas confirmées officiellement, Kiev a révélé, le jour de la fête de l’indépendance, qu’une unité spéciale avait mené une audacieuse opération en Crimée. « Nos troupes ont effectué un débarquement dans la péninsule [criméenne], en coopération avec les forces navales », déclarait alors Andriy Yusov, un représentant du GUR.

Faire du « renseignement de combat »

The military intelligence chief, General Kyrylo Boudanov, later added on television that “the significance of the special operation in Crimea is for our people to remember that victory, liberation, and a return to normal life are not so far away.” Kiev has thus unusually confirmed the existence and success of a covert operation, as one of its objectives was precisely to boost the morale of Ukrainians.

In a secret location in Kiev, four officers from the GUR were allowed to discuss the “Prodoudjenia sili” operation (“the awakening of the force”, referring to the Star Wars movie), as long as they did not reveal any operational details. Lieutenant Colonel “Timur”, who commanded the operation, Lieutenant “Ivanov”, a specialist in incursions into enemy territory, Colonel “X”, and Lieutenant “Y” all participated in the mission that earned them praise from their comrades and medals presented by the Ukrainian president.

The four officers serve within one of the most important battalions of the GUR special forces, which they refer to as the “Timur Group” after its leader. Their primary mission is to conduct “combat intelligence,” which involves everything that helps “prepare the advancement of armed forces.” The group carries out operations on the front line, including assault and diversion, as well as deep operations in enemy territory to “destroy Russian army command posts,” “eliminate Russian officers involved in attacks against Ukrainian civilians,” and “fulfill other missions that we are not allowed to mention,” Timur explains.

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