Earlier this month, Ukraine said it recaptured Black Sea drilling rigs in a daring raid.
During the mission, Russian fighter jets shot at a Ukrainian boat, and one soldier fell overboard.
The soldier told Ukrainian Pravda that he urged the crew to escape. He was recued 14 hours later.
Earlier this month, Ukraine said it had recaptured crucial offshore drilling rigs in the Black Sea in a daring two-day operation.
But the mission — captured in a 13-minute-long video — almost came at a huge cost: one Ukrainian commando fell overboard from a speedboat after it was attacked by a Russian fighter jet.
The soldier was left floating for 14 hours before anybody could return to rescue him.
In an exclusive interview with the outlet Ukrainian Pravda published last week, the commando described the dramatic ordeal in detail.
The man was identified only by his call sign, Conan. He said he and 13 other soldiers recaptured the Boyko Rigs in mid-August, part of a string of successes for Ukraine in the Black Sea.
But on their way back, at around 5 a.m., they came under attack. Conan said it was several Su-24 jets, though Ukraine said it was a single Su-30.
At one point in the battle, the Ukrainians fired shoulder-mounted missile at the plane, forcing it to flee, Insider previously reported.
The fighting caused the Ukrainian skipper to make sharp turns, and Conan fell overboard. He said he was luckily wearing only a wet suit and a life jacket because had had taken off most of his other military gear.
Conan said he felt "panic" the moment he fell into the deep, dark water.
His unit wanted to save him, but because the Russian aircraft continued to fire at them, Conan said he "waved" and urged them to get away and save themselves.
When the fighter jets and the Ukrainian speedboat disappeared, Conan said he tried to swim towards one of the rigs.
He said he was a strong swimmer but that the current was very strong, and he swallowed a lot of seawater.
At one point, he said, he started to hallucinate because he was dehydrated and tired. He thought of his family and his son, who was not yet one year old, Conan added. He also said he slept while floating.
But Conan "really wanted to live," he said, so after waking up, he attempted to swim to the rig again, fighting against the current.
On his way to the tower, he was picked up by a Ukrainian rescue ship, brought to shore, and treated for dehydration.
The Black Sea has become a hotbed of military activity in the war.
In a statement published earlier this month, Ukraine said the oil rigs were valuable because of their hydrocarbon resources and because they could be used to either hold missile systems or land helicopters.
The rigs had been occupied by Russia since 2015, shortly after it annexed Crimea, Ukraine's military intelligence agency said.
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