Kyiv: Russia deployed 82000 troops along Ukrainian border in Donbas and Crimea
The Chief of the Verification Department of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Andriy Gudz, at a briefing in Kyiv, said that "the total number of troops that Russia holds along the state border of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is about 82 thousand soldiers." He noted that these are combat-ready troops.
According to Gudz, at the moment there are more than 25 battalion tactical groups along the state border of Ukraine in the Rostov region, and the formation of a motorized rifle division continues. Gudz also said that Russia "hides the presence of modern aircraft in the Crimea, which means the militarization of the Peninsula."
The UN General Assembly resolution that was adopted on December 17, 2018, in connection with the militarization of Crimea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov calls on Russia to withdraw its troops from the territory of the Crimea and condemns the growing Russian military presence in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said on March 11 that Russia had strengthened the troops in the annexed Crimea. According to him, it "protects the territory of the Peninsula and the interests of Russia in the Black Sea."
After the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia conducts regular military exercises on the Peninsula. The General Staff of Ukraine calls the actions of the Russian military in the Crimea as illegal.