September 12, 2016 – Fort Russ New –
– Mikhail Ryabov, PolitNavigator – translated by J. Arnoldski –
The Russian army is testing Crimea’s defenses against a simulated enemy. Maneuvers are being held over the course of the final stage of the “Caucasus-2016” exercises. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has arrived in Crimea to monitor them.
“The scenario is simply – the peninsula comes under attack. The Russian army beats the attack back and goes on the offensive…So many aircraft, artillery, both conventional and reactive, vehicles, everything…I have never seen so many, and in training arenas there hasn’t been such [large exercises] for 20 years. What’s more, so that there are no insinuations, the exercises were planned. And what’s interesting is that the Syrian experience is being taken into consideration. There are modern carts, armored bulldozers, and graders that simulated the ‘Syrian roll’ in 5 minutes. And there are “Calibers” and “Baly” and others…this is no joke, these are now already the standard weapons of the Russian army. When a hundred planes and helicopters are flying in the air at the same time…it is very beautiful,” NTV journalist Oleg Kryuchkov said on his blog while observing the maneuvers.
According to Kryuchkov, the exercises at the Opuk training grounds have been attentively followed by Western journalists.
Kryuchkov quoted a conversation with a German TV report: “Today we showed, and we will show the whole world, that America, Europe, and Kiev need to forget the idea of returning Crimea.”
As the press service of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reports, the exercises in Crimea were covered by 100 Russian and foreign journalists. The overwhelming majority of foreign reporters represented NATO bloc countries.