Russia Turns to Conscripts To Defend Crimea: Ukraine


Artillerymen of the Ukrainian 80th separate airborne assault brigade fire from a BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher towards Russian positions on the front line near Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, on April 18, 2023. Ukraine’s armed forces said on April 20, 2023, that Russia is reinforcing positions in Crimea, the peninsula Moscow seized in 2014.GETTY IMAGES/ANATOLII STEPANOV

Russian troops in Crimea have been shifted to defensive positions on the peninsula that Moscow seized in 2014, according to Ukraine.

In an update on Thursday, Ukraine’s armed forces said that around 400 Russian conscripts who had been based in Iziumivka in eastern Crimea would be transferred to the settlement of Volodymyrivka, located around 90 miles away on the other side of the peninsula.

Newsweek has emailed the Russian defense ministry for comment.

Earlier this month, Tamila Tasheva, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky‘s top representative for Crimea, said that thousands of Russian citizens were fleeing and abandoning their properties for safety reasons. Tasheva said that up to 800,000 Russians live illegally in the territory and could be forcibly deported should Ukraine recapture the peninsula.

Authorities on the peninsula announced there would be no Victory Day or May Day celebrations next month due to security concerns. The same decision was taken by the Russian oblasts of Kursk and Belgorod, where military facilities have been hit, allegedly by Ukraine’s forces.

There have also been a number of explosions at sites in Crimea in recent months believed to have been carried out by the Ukrainian armed forces which have disrupted Russian supply lines.

Ukrainian government adviser Andriy Zagorodnyuk told Newsweek previously that Crimea remaining in Moscow’s hands was “out of the question.”

Former U.S. Army Europe commanding general Ben Hodges has called for the West to provide Ukraine with the weapons it needs to retake the peninsula, the battle for which would be decisive for the war. These would include ATACMS, (Army Tactical Missile Systems) for long-range precision strikes which could knock out targets such as headquarters and ammunition depots.

In March, the Kremlin announced that Vladimir Putin had visited Crimea, to mark the ninth anniversary of its annexation.

There is much anticipation of an imminent Ukrainian offensive. Amid speculation that the emphasis of such a move would be in the Donetsk oblast in the east of the country, Zelensky has said that Russian troops must leave all Ukrainian territory, including Crimea.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister Hanna Maliar said on Wednesday that “complex measures” of Ukraine’s planned counteroffensive are “already underway” in the east of the country.

Without specifying dates, actions, or locations, she said the counteroffensive plan had been chosen “in such a way that the enemy cannot react.” The Washington Post reported earlier this month that the counteroffensive had been delayed due to weather, slow equipment deliveries, and a lack of ammunition.

One comment

  1. Things are looking bad for mafia land if it must rely on conscripts to defend its precious Crimea. In a way, everyone in mafia land is now a potential conscript. Old men, young men, boys, girls … the runt doesn’t give a rat’s ass who he sends to his or her death for his wet dreams.

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