#AceNewsServices says RT reports Russia allowed to have 25,000 troops in Crimea since 1999… & other facts you may not know.
So here are the facts, numbers, and details of this long-standing (but rarely cited) deal:
1) The Black Sea Fleet has been disputed between Russia and Ukraine since the collapse of the Soviet Union back in 1991.
2) In 1997, the sides finally managed to find common ground and signed three agreements determining the fate of the military bases and vessels in Crimea. Two years later, in 1999, the Russian and Ukrainian parliaments ratified them. Russia has received 81.7 percent of the fleet’s ships after paying the Ukrainian government a compensation of US$526.5 million.
3) Moscow also annually writes off $97.75 million of Kiev’s debt for the right to use Ukrainian waters and radio frequency resources, and for the environmental impact caused by the Black Sea Fleet’s operations.
4) According to the initial agreement, the Russian Black Sea Fleet was to stay in Crimea until 2017, but the deal was later prolonged for another 25 years.
5) The 1997 deal allows the Russian navy to have up to 25,000 troops, 24 artillery systems with a caliber smaller than 100 mm, 132 armored vehicles, and 22 military planes on Crimean territory.
Ukrainian marines look at a Russian ship floating out of the Sevastopol bay on March 4, 2014 (AFP Photo / Viktor Drachev)
6) In compliance with those accords, there are currently five Russian naval units stationed in the port city of Sevastopol in the Crimean peninsula:
- The 30th Surface Ship Division formed by the 11th Antisubmarine Ship Brigade, which includes the Black Sea Fleet’s flagship guard missile cruiser Moskva as well as Kerch, Ochakov, Smetlivy, Ladny, and Pytlivy vessels, and the 197th Landing Ship Brigade, consisting of seven large amphibious vessels;
– The 41st Missile Boat Brigade, which includes the 166th Fast Attack Craft Division, consisting of Bora and Samum hovercrafts as well as small missile ships Mirazh and Shtil, and 295th missile Boat Division;
– The 247th Separate Submarine Division, consisting of two diesel submarines – B-871 Alrosa and B-380 Svyatoy Knyaz Georgy;
– The 68th Harbor Defense Ship Brigade formed by the 400th Antisubmarine Ship Battalion of four vessels and 418 Mine Hunting Ship Division, which consist of four ships as well;
– The 422nd Separate Hydrographic Ship Division, which includes Cheleken, Stvor, Donuzlav and GS-402 survey vessels as well as a group of hydrographic boats.
7) Besides the naval units, Moscow also has two airbases in Crimea, which are situated in the towns of Kacha and Gvardeysky.
Servicemen participate in a joint parade of Ukraine’s
Navy and the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol on Navy Day.(RIA Novosti
/ Vasiliy Batanov)
8) The Russian coastal forces in Ukraine consist of the 1096th Separate Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment in Sevastopol and the 810th Marine Brigade, which hosts around 2,000 marines. (Several other coastal units of the Black Sea Fleet are located in Russia’s Krasnodar Region, including the 11th Separate Coastal Missile Brigade in Anapa, the 382th Separate Marine Battalion, and a naval reconnaissance station in Temryuk).
Last week, Russia’s Federation Council unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to send the country’s military forces to Ukraine to ensure peace and order in the region “until the socio-political situation in the country is stabilized.”
However, the final say about deploying troops lies with Putin, who hasn’t yet made such a decision, stressing that deploying military force would be a last resort.
Authorities in the Ukrainian Autonomous Republic of Crimea – where more than half the population is Russian – requested Moscow’s assistance after the self-proclaimed government in Kiev introduced a law abolishing the use of languages other than Ukrainian in official circumstances.
The ship parade during the celebration of the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s 230th anniversary in Sevastopol.(RIA Novosti / Vasiliy Batanov)