Russia deploys more warplanes and equipment to Belbek airbase in Crimea

The Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine reports that Russia placed fighter jets and other military equipment in the open parking areas at the Belbek airfield near Sevastopol.

“According satellite images, Ukraine recorded 24 units of fighter aircraft, among which 16 SU-27 aircraft of various modifications, 8 aircraft MIG-29, as well as about 150 special vehicles and other military equipment, at the open parking areas of the Belbek airfield, located near Sevastopol," the statement reads.

The ministry notes that according to the specialists, an increase in the number of aircraft parking spots and storage areas for aircraft ammunition in the airport could be used to increase the capabilities for stationing combat aircraft, including strategic ones.

"Such actions by Russia reaffirm the fact that the occupying country considers temporarily occupied Crimea purely as just another military base that will keep the entire European continent in suspense,"  the ministry said.

In April 2018, satellite imagery showed that Russia began construction of a second runway at the Belbek military airfield, which is located near Sevastopol in the annexed Crimea. The new strip is located parallel to the existing runway and is expected to be about four thousand meters long.

Belbek is a joint-based airport, which from the 90s hosted the 204th tactical aviation brigade of the Ukrainian Air Force and was also used for passenger and cargo flights.  

After the annexation of the Crimea by Russia in 2014, the Belbek airfield started being used exclusively by the Russian air force. Two Russian Air Force regiments are stationed there

  Russia, Belbek Airport, Sevastopol