14:33 Aug. 27, 2016
Kremlin 'checks out if Russian troops are put on full combat readiness'
Aerospace forces of Russia's Western and Central military districts started relocating aviation equipment to operational airfields of the Southern Military District near the Ukrainian border, as part of 'a sudden inspection of Russian troops' combat readiness".
"Fighter jets and bomber aircraft, as well as military transport and attack helicopters will perform a flight over a distance of 500 to 2,500 kilometres", the press-office of Russia's Defence Ministry reported on August 27.
The Il-76 military transport aircraft will transfer technical staff of aviation units as well as airfield and special equipment.
Under the order of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow started 'suddenly inspecting combat and mobilisation readiness of Russian Armed Forces, involving 100,000 soldiers - Ukrainian intelligence officers claim.
On August 25, Russian troops near the Ukrainian border were put on full combat alert 'to bring crisis situation under control', according to Putin's instructions.
The inspection will last till August 31.
Sukhoi Su 27 fighter jets from the Russkiye Vityazi [Russian Knights] aerobatic team perform stunts over Sevastopol during the closing ceremony of the Crimean leg of the 2016 Aviadarts military aviation competition (Getty Images)
Crimea was seized from Ukraine by Russia in February 2014. Ukraine's Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) officially declared February 20, 2014, a beginning of Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol. Numerous world leaders strongly condemned the illegal annexation and launched a range of economic sanctions against Russia.
Despite the overall resentment, Moscow rejects the notion "occupation", naming its deeds instead "a renewal of historical justice".
On July 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin abolished the Crimean federal district by making Crimea and Sevastopol part of Russia's Southern federal district. Under the president's decree, the District now consists of Adygea, Kalmykia, Crimea, Krasnodar Territory, Astrakhan region, Volgograd region, Rostov region and Sevastopol. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed its protest over such a decision and stated that Crimea remains a Ukrainian territory.