Friday, August 19, 2016

Russia moving military assets into Crimea

Reuters is reporting Russian naval and land forces are moving military hardware and troops to annexed Crimea as part of a logistics exercise which foreshadows much larger war games there next month, the Russian Defence Ministry said.

The training exercise comes at a time of heightened tension between Russia and Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin flew into Crimea on Friday where he planned to hold a meeting of his Security Council. It said specialized logistic troops had cooperated with Russian Railways and the country's merchant fleet to move troops, armor and technical equipment to the Crimea.
Vessels from Russia's Black Sea Fleet had also taken part, including a submarine, a large landing ship, mine-sweepers and an unspecified number of guided missile cruisers. Around 2,500 troops and up to 350 armored vehicles had also been involved. The Pentagon has identified eight staging areas in Russia where large numbers of military forces appear to be preparing for incursions into Ukraine, according to U.S. defense officials.

As many as 40,000 Russian troops, including tanks, armored vehicles, and air force units, are now arrayed along Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia.