Russia increasing military presence near Ukrainian borders in the north, east and south: Commander-in-Chief

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Canan Kevser
31 March 2021, 17:00
Руслан Хомчак
Canan Kevser
31 March 2021, 17:00

Russia is increasing its armed forces near the state border of Ukraine in the north, east and south. Some 28 battalion tactical groups were settled in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

Colonel-General, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak said this speaking at an extraordinary meeting of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) on Tuesday.

"As of March 30, 2021, some 28 battalion tactical groups of the enemy are held along the state border of Ukraine in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, namely in Briansk, Voronezh, Rostov and on the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea. But recently from different regions. Russian armed forces are gradually increasing troops near the state border of Ukraine in the north, east and south, under the guise of control exercises for the winter period of combat readiness exercises and general preparation for the future joint strategic exercises Zapad-2021 (West 2021)," Khomchak said.

In general, according to him, an additional concentration of up to 25 battalion tactical groups is expected, which, together with the existing deployed forces and assets near the state border of Ukraine, creates threats to the military security of the state.

He said that Russia has been increasing the joint-force formation of troops of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation since 2014, which currently amounts to about 32,700 servicemen.

In particular, the commander-in-chief said, in the middle of March 2021, two battalion tactical groups with the support of an artillery tactical group from the seventh Airborne Assault Division conducted combat training activities on the landing of air and sea landing at the Opuk training ground.

"After the end of the exercises, these units were left in the area of the training ground. Also, there was an increase in grouping due to the movement of five more battalion tactical groups," Khomchak said.

He said that in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, a grouping of Russian-occupation forces including the first and second army corps, consisting of 14 combat brigades, regiments and support units numbering about 28,000 people present, which operate with the support of Russian troops under the command of the armed forces of Russia.

Khomchak emphasised that to train specialists for intelligence special units in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, there is an apparatus of military advisers and instructors of the Russian armed forces with a total number of more than 2,000 people.

"Up to 12 battalion tactical groups are additionally held on the territory of Rostov region with a readiness period of one or two days, which provides the minimum necessary set of measures for an immediate response to possible military actions on the part of Ukraine," the Commander-in-Chief said.

Khomchak also explained that since the beginning of 2021, about 19,000 tonnes of fuel, some 335 tonnes of ammunition, 35 vehicles, three tanks, multiple launch rocket systems and special equipment have been moved to the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.