Ukrainian intelligence presented its version explaining recent developments in Crimea. Russian troops step up military presence on the peninsula. Russia keeps sending weapons and supplies to the occupied areas in eastern Ukraine.
Kyiv, August 12, 2016. Between August 6 and 7 troops of the Armed Forces and Border Guard Service of the Russian Federation exchanged fire near Armiansk. The reason for that is they were not able to identify each other and opened fire for effect. There are losses: killed and wounded in action. It is this particular incident that Russia is now trying to depict as “the attack of Ukrainian subversives,” said Vadym Skibitsky, representative of the Main Intelligence Department of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. “We do not rule out further provocations of any kind from the Russian Federation. Most dangerous sectors are the Donetsk and Mariupol ones. We expect more seizure attempts to come before the beginning of winter: in particular of strategic objects required to supply militants,” said Skibitsky. He emphasized that Ukraine’s law enforcement is now on high combat alert and ready for provocations by Russia.
According to the representative of military intelligence, the level of threats to Ukraine’s national security remains high. Powerful interagency group is being formed in the framework of the “Caucasus-2016” exercises that Russian troops are to hold in the areas close to Ukraine border in September. The group will be ready for immediate deployment according to decisions of Russian authorities. A series of actions are taking place in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Troops are being moved from permanent deployment places to military training grounds. In the area of the sea amphibious training ground “Opuk” near Feodosia joint combat training is being held for marines, coast guard brigade, engineer troops and medical units. According to the plans of the Russian command almost all units of Crimean-based troops will be on the training ground during the exercises. “On August 8 units of the 15th separate coastal rocket brigade were deployed to the area of “Stary Krym” training ground near Feodosia including five units of Bastion mobile coastal defense missile systems. Further amassment of troops and equipment in the territory of the occupied Crimea is not ruled out, it may be achieved by redeployment of units from mainland Russia,” elaborated Vadym Skibitsky. He noted that rotation of Russian units deployed to the north of Crimea is underway. Skibitsky said that as the “Caucasus-2016” military training as well as elections to the Russian parliament GosDuma of September 18 are approximating, the administrative-police regime is being reinforced in the temporarily occupied peninsula. In Crimea stands high terror alert level – the “Blue”. Russian Interior Ministry, National Guard (the Northern Caucasus regional command of the National Guard Federal Service) and the Black Sea Fleet are being engaged into the “antiterror” activities. “In order to reinforce the defense of Crimea’s administrative border with Kherson region units of the 810th separate marine brigade and of the 126th separate coastal guard brigade of the coastal defense troops of the Black Sea fleet were deployed to the north of the peninsula on August 10. To coordinate law enforcement activities a working group arrived to the Belbek airdrome,” said Skibitsky.
According to intelligence information, in the ATO zone militants hold 58 tanks, over 104 artillery pieces and self-propelled artillery systems, over 55 Grad systems. Russia supplied at least 2,200 tons of fuel and over 400 tons of ammunition, 160 tons of logistical means, five tanks, three 122-mm “Gvozdyka” self-propelled artillery systems, five 152-mm “Akatsiya” self-propelled artillery systems and three infantry fighting vehicles for the 1st and 2nd army corps over the last week. At the same time militants lost at least 36 killed and 24 wounded. Skibitsky also said that the Russian command decided upon the rotation of General-Lieutenant Valeriy Asapov, commander of the 1st army corps. He has been in the territory of Ukraine since August 2015.