The press service of the Russian Southern Military District (SMD) in one of its 2021 first reports confirmed the aspirations of the Russian Federation to strengthen own Black Sea Fleet (BSF). Only during the last year “Pavel Derzhavin” patrol ship and the “Grayvoron” small missile ship joined the main forces of the BSF.

The auxiliary BSF forces were reinforced by the seagoing tug “Sergei Balk”, by three large hydrographic boats “Alexander Firsov”, “Vladimir Kozitsky” and “Boris Slobodnik”, as well as the road tug “RB-371”. The BSF Army Corps adopted new automated mobile units “APE-5” and special vehicles designed for information transfer and data exchange. This technique of the occupiers is designed to provide control over the own military forces. Also, for the establishment of satellite communication channels, the BSF Army Corps of the Russian Federation received a new field mobile information and communication complex [1].

The “ARC” resource has already reported on a significant strengthening of radio technical control by increasing the combat capabilities of the Russian military group in the territory of the SMD to control airspace, on Russians’ plans to build a new radar system for missile attack warning in the Nakhimovsky District of Sevastopol, on the beginning the exploitation in Crimea the Russian radar “Container”, radar “Nebo-UT” and on other steps of Russian invaders to militarize the peninsula. Crimea has now become involved in a missile arms race, destroying global parity of forces and providing the basis for the U.S. decision to suspend its participation in the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Short-Range Missiles [2], [3].

During the “Kavkaz–2020” strategic command-and-staff exercises (SCSE), the Russians concealed a connection with a series of simultaneous exercises of strategic missile forces in their Western Military District of the RF. Such massive large-scale special exercises of material and technical support with the real transfer of strategic reserves of troops and other measures were aimed at evading control of international obligations, such as the Vienna Document. The number and intensity of conventional tactical exercises by the Russian army has increased significantly.

This year, the hidden participation of the Russian army, including its Crimean occupation group, in the planned “Zapad–2021” SCSE is also expected. In the Southern Military District, in which the Russians included the occupied peninsula, they plan to use systematically the “novelty” of the operational training of their military command personnel – the strategic command and staff military games (SCSMG).

For the first time, SCSMG in the Southern Military District were held in December 2020 as part of a “five-day operational mobilization meeting” with the participation of the military command and control bodies of the SMD, combined-arms armies, the BSF, the Caspian Flotilla and the Army of the Air Force and Air Defense, as well as commanders of the SMD. SCSMG was led by the commander of the SMD troops, Army-General Alexander Dvornikov. The “gathering” was attended by about 300 officers from the military administration and command staff of the Southern Military District. According to Russian propaganda, “the new methods of operational training allow officers to work out combat training tasks, being in the role of officials of a conditional group of forces formed in a certain operational direction”.

To carry out the SCSMG, the invaders use the field mobile command posts of the SMD military units and formations. The new form of training makes it possible to prepare officers of the Russian army for “performing tasks as part of a single command and control body in various theaters of military operations”. Unlike the command post exercise, this game does not involve units to indicate the actions of the troops, the preparation becomes virtual. “SCSMG must be held at the end of each training period, while command-staff military games in the formations – monthly”, demanded from the subordinates the commander of the Russian SMD, Army-General Dvornikov [4].

The intensification of the combat training of the BSF forces in the 2020 year is evidenced by the fact that there were twice as many missile firing there, compared to 2019. In the course of the planned development of tasks, ship formations and coastal units carried out more than 30 rocket fires with anti-aircraft and cruise missiles, including “Caliber-NK”. According to the plan of artillery preparation of the BSF’s naval forces, the invaders carried out about 200 artillery fires at air, sea and coastal targets, a significant part of which was carried out by the crews of ships as part of homogeneous and heterogeneous tactical groups. The plan for performing combat exercises with the use of naval underwater weapons in the BSF in 2020 was exceeded by 10 %, and the number of weapons used increased by 20 %.

Thus, it is obvious that the Russian Federation is significantly strengthening the multifaceted training of its occupying contingent on the peninsula.

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