Russia armed the Black Sea Fleet with more than 50 warships since annexation of Crimea
During an interview with the Interfax news agency, Aleksandr Vitko, Commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, stated that Moscow has transferred more than 50 new warships, boats and auxiliary vessels for "tasks in the Mediterranean and Black Seas” since 2014.
"Over the past three years, we have received more than 50 new warships, boats and auxiliary vessels, which without a long commissioning period immediately began realization of tasks ", Interfax quotes Vitko as saying.
According to Vitko, the fleet’s ships and vessels have carried out more than 20 campaigns, including three inter-fleet transitions, over the past year.
"As for the Black Sea, the modern Bastion-P Coastal Defense Missile System, the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems deployed in the Crimea, and naval and air defense aviation are completing the logical chain to ensure the region's security against all sorts of threats," Vitko said to Interfax.
Since the annexation of the Crimea in 2014, Russia has conducted regular military exercises on the peninsula. The General Staff of Ukraine has called the Russian military exercises conducted in the annexed Crimea illegal.
The internationally recognized Ukrainian territory of Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation in March of 2014 in the wake of the Ukrainian revolution. The Kremlin has faced international condemnation for its annexation of the Peninsula, leading many western countries to impose economic sanctions against Russia. In the United Nations, only Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Syria recognize Crimea as a legitimate federal subject of Russia.