A new contingent of Russian troops arrived in Crimea earlier this week to participate in military exercises, as stated by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu. The move comes after a surprise inspection of Russia’s Southern Military District on February 8th.
The exercise includes the units of the Southern Military District as well as airborne troops, transport aircraft, and air defense systems. A total of 8,500 servicemen, 900 pieces of military hardware, 50 ships, and 200 aircraft are involved in the training, RIA Novosti reported.
According to Shoygu, mobile control centers have been deployed in the Southern and Central Military Districts to manage the trainings. Field headquarters for the exercises have been set up in the Rostov region as well as Sevastopol and Simferopol in Crimea
“The group of soldiers, air force, and anti-aircraft defense are ready for countering a massive air attack by a hypothetical enemy,” the Defense Minister stated.
The servicemen began the exercise on February 9th, and are reinforcing their ability to respond to terrorist acts as well capture public and military targets.
In October of last year, the Russian Defense Ministry conducted an inspection of the Black Sea Fleet.
Several western countries have imposed various economic sanctions against Russia as a result of the illegal annexation of the Crimea in early 2014. Russia has denied its occupation of the peninsula and instead refers to it as the “correction of a historical injustice.”