The Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported on its Facebook page that Russia can expand the scale of its armed aggression against Ukraine from the 5th to the 10th of September during the active phase of the Caucasus-2016 military drills.
Within that time period the drills will involve movements of a newly created assault-capable formation of troops of varying brigades that is positioned on the southwest. By Putin’s personal order, these assault troops can be used to expand the scale of armed aggression against Ukraine, the statement says.
Ukrainian Intelligence reported that the operational deployment of troops of the Southern Military District and its build-up strengthened by the air and ground support, as well as the highly-mobile component of Western and Central military districts, is being carried out during these drills. On August 18th, the President of Ukraine stated that he does not excluded the possibility of a full-scale invasion from Russia into Ukraine. He stated that there is a possibility of imposing martial law in Ukraine.
The Pentagon tried to play down the possibility of a massive Russian invasion by asserting that the concentration of Russian troops at the border with Ukraine is only related to the annual military drills. From August 11th to the 13th the Russian Black Sea Fleet conducted drills on protecting Crimea from underwater saboteurs. According to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, maneuvers were a part of the preparation program for the Caucasus-2016 drills.
The Russian Ministry of Defense also reported that Russia held military drills for electronic warfare troops in the Crimea. Military exercises took place at the Opuk training grounds near Feodosia.