Russia tripled military personnel in Crimea since beginning of occupation - commander

Ukrainian News
Canan Kevser
17 February 2021, 12:13
Canan Kevser
17 February 2021, 12:13

Since the beginning of the occupation of Crimea, the Russian Federation has tripled the number of military personnel and also significantly increased equipment, and comprehensive offensive and defensive exercises on the peninsula.

Commander of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksiy Neizhpapa said this in an interview with Ukrinform.

"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 calibre naval-based cruise missiles. They have a total of about 80 missiles,"

Also, 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 armoured combat vehicles increased 6 times, multiple-launch rocket systems – 6.5 times. 

Besides, the occupiers deployed an air defence system and antiship defence system. 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.