Three Su-24M front-line bombers were sent from neighboring Russia to the annexed Crimea, as indicated by the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry. The front-line bombers will reinforce the air squadron of the assault aviation regiment of the Black Sea Fleet.
"The aircraft arrived in the Crimea after the planned plant repairs were completed on the Russian mainland. It is expected that in the future, the aircraft will undergo modernization at military facilities of the regiment, which will significantly expand their capabilities,” reads the statement made by the Russian Defense Ministry.
Earlier, Ukrainian military command called Russian military drills in the annexed Crimea illegal and condemned the continued transfer of military equipment to the peninsula.
Russia's annexation of Crimea followed the ouster of Ukraine's pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, and has been widely condemned as an illegal act by world leaders. This, and a prolonged fighting between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in the east of Ukraine, has led to the imposition of a series of economic sanctions against Russia.