19:32 Jul. 31, 2016
Kremlin strengthens military presence in the occupied peninsula
Russia is planning to transfer three newly constructed frigates to the occupied city of Sevastopol.
According to Black Sea navy chief Alexander Vitko, the first warship Admiral Grigorovich has already been deployed in Sevastopol, another one, Admiral Essen, is going to be transferred from the Baltic Sea. The third frigate Admiral Makarov will arrive to the Russian-occupied sea port by the end of 2016.
Originally six new warships were planned to be built for the Russian Black Sea fleet by 2020. However, the construction of three more vessels has been postponed due to Ukraine's refusal to provide gas-turbine engines.
On July 23, the Russian frigate Admiral Essen was spotted at a distance of seven nautical miles from Latvia's exclusive economic zone.
Latvia's National Armed Forces reported more than 140 provocative flights, as well as 130 cases of Russian submarines and ships close to Latvian territorial waters.
On July 27, the Russian state-owned arms producer Almaz-Antey announced it would open weapons and military hardware maintenance and repair facilities in Sevastopol.