There were some 24 thousand Russian soldiers in Russian-occupied Crimea in May, InfoResist quotes Vadym Skibitskiy, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Defense Ministry’s Chief Intelligence Department, as saying.

According to Skibitskiy, 613 tanks and armored vehicles, 162 artillery pieces, some 100 airplanes, 56 helicopters, 16 coastal missile systems, 30 warships and four submarines are deployed in Crimea now.

Skibitskiy also stressed that by 2020-2025 Russia plans to increase the number of its troops and equipment in Crimea 1.5-2 fold. By doing so, Russia is trying to bolster its position in the Black Sea region and create a counterweight to NATO forces in Europe, Vadym Skibitskiy said.