UNIAN Information Agency, 3 June 2017
To date, there are a total of 60,000 Russian troops in Crimea, and their number could increase to 100,000 or 120,000 in the future, according to the online newspaper ZN.UA.
According to experts, the radical change in the military-strategic balance in the region was influenced not so much by the number of servicemen as by the strike missiles and means of their delivery, concentrated on the territory of Crimea during the period of occupation, ZN.UA reports.
“In fact, in the center of the Black Sea – on the Crimean peninsula – the Russian Federation has created and continues to rapidly build up the so-called anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) zone, that is a protected area where the enemy troops could not get in without risk of suffering unacceptable losses,” the experts said. Russia has also deployed six nuclear warheads in Crimea – Dzhemilev. They also note that the “protected area” with the center in Crimea is formed by different types of modern land- and sea-based tactical missile systems (Iskander and Caliber), coastal anti-ship complexes (Bastion and Ball), air defense missile systems (S-300, S-400, Buk-2M, and Pantsir), electronic warfare systems, etc.
As reported, the missiles of the Iskander, Caliber, and Bastion complexes are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. “This ‘area’ could not only target the coastal regions of all the Black Sea countries, but it can also reach the territories of the Baltic States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Greece, including Crete, as well as Balkan countries, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Iran, Iraq, the coasts of Egypt and southern Italy,” the experts added.
They assume a high probability that nuclear warheads for sea and coastal missile systems are deployed in Crimea. As UNIAN reported earlier, Russia had been building up its military potential in occupied Crimea, preparing for a possible offensive.