12:39 05.07.2017

Russia using occupied Crimea as training ground for testing new weapons – MP Friz

Russia is creating military structures in occupied areas of Donbas which are full compatible with Russian armed forces, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine deputy and head of the permanent Rada delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Iryna Friz has said. Friz is a member of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction in parliament.

"Occupied Crimea, from a military point of view, is completed integrated into Russia's Southern Military District. All training conducted on the peninsula is coordinated with units assigned to the district. The approach to Crimea is cardinally different that approaches for using military formations in other occupied territories. This shows the Kremlin views Crimea as fully occupied, with security and social unrest risks," Friz said in her brief, titled "Militarization of occupied territories: Destabilization of the Euro-Atlantic region and mechanism of geopolitical influence."

Friz said Russian forces operate different in occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which is used as a training ground for conducting military operations and testing new weapons systems.

"Among the priority tasks for Russian troops there are [testing] new methods of artillery systems use, electronic warfare and radio surveillance, including new unmanned aviation vehicles and the organization of coordination work with artillery units," Friz says in her report.

The MP said the type of trainings and equipment used by the Operations Group of Russian Forces (OGRF) in Moldova's breakaway Transdniester region does not correspond with the stated aim of Russian military formations located there.

"It's very likely that OGRF units are preparing specialists and infiltrating recon networks in Romania with the aim of creating diversionary groups using citizens of the breakaway region," Friz says in her report.

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