In spring-summer, Russia increases its military contingent in Crimea – Main Intelligence Office of Defense Ministry
Since the beginning of the occupation of Crimea, Russia has been increasing its military contingent in Crimea almost every year, turning the resort place "into a militaristic fortress," in addition, Moscow uses the peninsula as a base to ensure the Russian military presence in Syria, said Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
"For the eighth year, Ukraine has been restraining Russian aggression. We record the pulling of Russian troops and weapons to our borders and to the territories of the east and Crimea occupied by it. From the first days of the occupation, the Kremlin has been turning the Crimean peninsula into a military base for control over the Black and Azov seas, provocations and threats to countries of the entire Black Sea region, in particular Ukraine and our NATO allies," Budanov said in a comment to the Ukrainian Center for Security and Cooperation, published on the Facebook page of the Main Intelligence Directorate.
He stressed that "the threat not only to Ukraine, but to the whole of Europe, is growing every day."
"We are ready to fight until the complete de-occupation of the Crimean peninsula. Crimea will be liberated, and the criminals will be punished. We will do everything possible and impossible for this," Budanov said.
The Main Intelligence Directorate noted that since the beginning of the occupation of the peninsula "Russia has been increasing its military contingent in Crimea almost every year, turning the once resort and flourishing place into a militaristic fortress.
"It is clear that this was precisely the main goal of the occupation of Crimea, because the peninsula has a very favorable geopolitical location, allowing Russia to have significant advantages and the ability to influence the countries of the Black Sea region and demand rights in the Black and Azov Seas. In addition, Moscow uses peninsula also as a base for ensuring the Russian military presence in Syria," the message says.
The Directorate recalled that in order to return the peninsula, Ukraine initiated the Crimea Platform.