News from Crimea: Russian assault troops land under cover of two submarines in annexed Crimea

12:48 Aug. 27, 2016

Russian assault troops land under cover of two submarines in annexed Crimea

The Russian Black Sea Fleet's new frigate Admiral Grigorovich arrives in Sevastopol (Getty Images)

100,000 Russian military take part in 'sudden inspection of combat readiness'

On August 27, the Russian Black Sea Fleet held military drills to practice embarking and disembarking assault troops and equipment on amphibious warfare ships near the shooting range Opuk in Ukraine's Crimea annexed by the Kremlin in 2014.

The landing operation was carried out as part of 'a sudden inspection to ensure Russian troops remain on combat alert', the press service of the Russian Defence Ministry reports.

According to the report, the assault landing operation was covered by two diesel-electric submarines of the Black Sea Fleet.

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.

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.

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