The Russian Federation plans to hold large-scale strategic command post exercise Caucasus 2020 in the end of September. Former Representative of the President of Ukraine in Crimea Boris Babin warns against possible risks and threats for Ukraine.

‘Crimea represents a constant threat. We have a military conflict that can escalate in any location from the Danube mouth to Sumy Region. We cannot be 100% sure about the aggressor’s plans… But having large numbers of troops stationed on the peninsula on a constant basis is rather problematic. Firstly, if there is a global conflict, they will become hostages there, because Crimea is good for advance, not for defence, as history shows. Secondly, there is not enough water in Crimea to have large deployment of forces there.  It is a semi-desert now. To give you an idea, their departmental legal acts mention Crimea among the regions, where servicemen get additional payments because of semiarid climate’, the expert said.

Boris Babin notes that when it comes to military operations, dates, tactics, procedures and approaches can vary.  ‘At the same time, Russia has been fully prepared for sabotage and hybrid activities since 2015. Nothing keeps them from a hybrid operation’, he adds.

‘An army conducts exercises to get ready for military activity. It is axiomatic. If they are planning Caucasus 2020, they are preparing for military activity on this territory — Crimea and Caucasus. They do not even hide it. The question is, whether they are going to put it into practice. It is very important to understand that just as in any other exercise, one can accumulate a great number of troops under the guise of training and use them as one desires’, Borys Babin said.