Russian President Vladimir Putin may be thinking that the time is right to conduct another invasion, following the annexation of Crimea back in March of 2015. In fact, certain actions by Russia seem to indicate that a new invasion will happen soon.
Recently, the Russian Ministry of Defense has announced it will be holding a tactical exercise for its Black Sea Fleet in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea on August 15. It will involve a number of its strike ships, including its small missile ships Serpukhov and Zeleny Dol. The ships have already left their port in Sevastopol and are making their way from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea using an “approved route.”
According to the Defense Ministry, the upcoming exercise will include a number of combat training tasks, apprehending of a non-compliant vessel with terrorists onboard and firing their artillery and missiles in a combat situation. The participating forces will be evaluated in their ability to settle crisis situations.
Days before the exercise is scheduled to take place, The Guardian reports that Russia’s intelligence agency, FSB, said on Wednesday they had managed to foil a series of attacks by a number of armed Ukrainians in the peninsula. Following this, Putin also accused the Kiev government of siding with terror instead of peace. While Putin is making the accusation, Russia has been quietly slipping some military vehicles into Crimea.
According to a report from Reuters, Putin also met with top intelligence and military leaders on Thursday. During the meeting, the Russian president reportedly reviewed “scenarios for counter-terrorism security measures along the land border, offshore and in Crimean air space.”
In response to this, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had ordered military units stationed near Crimea and eastern Ukraine to be at the highest state of combat readiness.