Russia triples military personnel in Crimea over occupation

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Since the beginning of the occupation of Crimea, the Russian Federation has ramped up the number of military personnel, equipment, and comprehensive offensive and defensive exercises on the peninsula.

“Over the past seven years, the combat strength of surface ships and submarines of the Black Sea Fleet has increased by 45%. The total number is 58 units, including 13 Kalibr naval-based cruise missiles. Another small missile ship, Graivoron, which is also a carrier of Kalibr cruise missiles, was recently adopted by the Black Sea Fleet. Thus, they have a total of about 80 missiles,” Commander of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksiy Neizhpapa said in an interview with Ukrinform.

In addition, according to Neizhpapa, the number of combat aircraft in the occupied Crimea increased 3.5 times, helicopters – 9 times, the number of tanks reached about 40 units, the number of armored combat vehicles increased 6 times, multiple-launch rocket systems – 6.5 times. In addition, the air defense system and antiship defense system were deployed. The military personnel has been tripled, exceeding 40,000 people.

The Commander of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine also noted that the number of comprehensive exercises of the Russian military increased.

“They conduct both offensive and defensive exercises. The increase in the number of combat training activities, compared to previous years, is significant and is carried out with the development of actions in the reconnaissance strike and reconnaissance fire complexes. Thus, the Russian Federation has turned the Autonomous Republic of Crimea into the most powerful military base,” Neizhpapa added.

He also reminded that Ukraine lost 11 ships and boats, 10 support vessels and 11 infrastructure facilities, including shipyards, workshops and production associations, as a result of the occupation of Crimea.

© 2021 Ukrinform News

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