Less than a year after its reunification with Russia, the Crimea is home to a full-fledged military grouping and developments continue as the peninsula improves its security. In the year since it rejoined Russia, the military modernisation in the Crimea was a key event in Russian force developments; seven new formations and eight new military bases are now part of the Russian military presence on the peninsula, which Minister of Defence S K Shoigu called a “full-fledged, self-sufficient military grouping”.
After Crimea’s reunification with Russia, over 9,000 former Ukrainian servicemen and 7,000 Ukrainian civilian personnel rallied to Russia. Over 70 Ukrainian units voluntarily came over to Russia, as well as 25 auxiliary vessels and 6 warships. After the March 2014 Crimean referendum, Admiral V V Chirkov, commander of the Russian Navy, announced that 79 Ukrainian Navy ships, including 25 warships, were in Crimean ports, which Russia was ready to hand back. Since 11 April 2014, when Russia handed over the missile boat Priluki, Russia handed back 43 ships and boats, as well as all Ukrainian military vehicles and some planes and helicopters. However, this ended in mid-June when the SNBOU suspended its military and technical coöperation agreement with Russia. On Monday, junta strongman P A Poroshenko announced that the Ukraine intends to take back the rest of the Ukrainian weaponry left in the Crimea. However, this isn’t very likely, as Admiral A V Vitko, Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, announced in 2014 that wouldn’t be any more transfers because the junta could use such transferred weaponry in the Novorossiya aggression.
In September 2014, Defence Minister Shoigu noted that the escalation of the Ukrainian situation, the Crimea’s reunification with Russia, and a growing military presence near Russian borders “determined corrections” to the Southern Military District. In November 2014, 14 Su-27SM and Su-30 multipurpose jets arrived at Belbek Air Base and air defence units received new S-300PMU and Pantsir-S1 systems. The Crimean reunification also led to new developments in the Black Sea Fleet, which the Ukraine previously attempted to impede. In 2015 and 2016, the Black Sea Fleet will receive six new Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates, six Project 636 “Varshavianka” diesel submarines, as well as Buyan-M missile boats, mostly based in the Crimea.
New anti-sabotage and defence forces also buffed up security. The Sevastopol Oceanarium, which trained the Ukrainian Navy’s bottlenose dolphins, joined the Russian Navy, and, in November 2014, the Black Sea Fleet conducted exercises with the dolphins, which detected submarines at a depth of over 60 metres. In addition to dolphins, the Black Sea Fleet is creating a centre for training frogmen for rescue and counter-sabotage activity. In June 2014, Admiral Vitko announced that the Navy is planning to create a new centre for diving specialists, using the Black Sea Fleet Diving School in Sevastopol as a base. The Black Sea Fleet coastal defences also received new Bal and Bastion anti-ship missile systems, which replaced older versions. In addition, a mountain defence battalion, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) regiment to monitor NATO ships, a radiological-chemical-nuclear defence regiment, and a new artillery regiment with 300 units of equipment joined units already intheatre. In December, Russia started to refurbish the Crimean Naval Base in Sevastopol, which Russia ceded to Ukraine in 1996. In addition, Sevastopol will repair Russian ships, including those on duty in the Mediterranean. However, this is only a small part of what was once a system that included submarine bases built into cliffs, and the Black Sea Fleet shall receive over 86 billion roubles (8.7 billion Renminbi. 87.5 billion INR. 1.4 billion USD. 1.78 billion CAD. 1.82 billion AUD. 1.32 billion Euros. 943 million UK Pounds) by 2020 to rebuild the system. There are many challenges to Crimean security today, not only NATO’s presence in the Black Sea, but also from Ukrainian artillery batteries emplaced on the Crimean border and from booby-trapped bridges connecting the Crimea to the Ukraine. Russia is already working to secure Crimean communications security by building a new bridge over the Kerch Strait and by building new power stations to protect the Crimea from erratic power cuts by the Ukraine. Construction of a new power station will begin later in March and the new Kerch Strait bridge should be ready within four years.
13 March 2015
Notice how coy the article is on the present posting of the Ukrainian forces that rallied to Russia. I believe that most of them are now in Novorossiya, providing the hard professional cadre of the patriot VSN. There was no need of deploying Russians… there are sufficient anti-fascist “Ukrainians” to topple the rightwing Uniate filth in Kiev. With each passing day, the old Soviet legacy comes alive again in Novorossiya. With each passing day, the VSN gets stronger. With each passing day, the junta weakens. Vova is far brighter than his stupid toddler Anglo adversaries are. The melon is almost ripe for the harvest. As Elder Iona of Odessa put it, “The Smuta will come the year after my death. The first Easter will be bloody, the second Easter will be hungry, and the third Easter will be victorious”. Elder Iona died in late 2012… the Evromaidantsy lunacy started in the next year. Shall the tricolour and the Red Banner fly over Kiev, the Mother of All Russian Cities? One can sincerely hope so…
This is the second Easter of the prophecy of St Iona… I do daresay that Victoria Nuland et al are in for a nasty surprise…