On the 29th of August, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported on the formation of territorial defense divisions in the Crimea.
“More than 500 citizens, who are in the reserve force, were selected by the military commissariat of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea and Sevastopol. They will take part in military training in accordance with the registration specialty in the marine and coastal divisions of the Black Sea Fleet,” the report said.
The Russian Ministry of Defense added that “reservists who were called up for military training will participate in practical activities of the Caucasus-2016 strategic command, and staff drills. This will be part of the existing divisions of territorial defense”.
Last week, the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine stated that Russia could expand their armed aggression against Ukraine during the active phase of the Caucasus-2016 military drills, which will take part between the 5th and the 10th of September.
According to Intelligence, Russia will implement the operational deployment of troops of the Southern Military District, the strengthening of the Russian military by means of air and ground, and the strengthening of the highly mobile component of the Southern and Central Military Districts during the Caucasus-2016 drills. “A group of troops of the Southern, Western and Central Military Districts, and the Northern Fleet of the Russian Armed Forces are on high alert,” a statement of the Main Directorate of Intelligence read.
The Russian Minister of Defense, Sergey Shoygu, reported that this sudden check of the readiness of the Russian Armed Forces began on the 25th of August and will last until the 31st of August. The evaluation of the ability of the army to rapidly strengthen its readiness in the south-western direction is among the declared goals of the check.
Military-transport aircraft of the Russian Federation deployed special task divisions from the North-West of Russia to the testing grounds of Southern Military District. A total of 20 IL-76 aircraft was used to check the readiness of Russian troops. On the 26th of August, 15 warships of the Black Sea Fleet and 10 ships of the Caspian Fleet sailed out to sea to check their readiness.
These kinds of checks have recently become more frequent in the Russian Army.