Ukraine’s naval chief has said that “operations are in process” to back Crimea as “many people” in the annexed region want to be liberated.
Vice Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa has sent a warning shot to Moscow that their sights are now focused on Crimea which was illegally annexed in 2014 by Russia.
He told The Times, “There are many people in Crimea who are waiting for us to come back. The main thing is that these operations are in process. I even know where.”
He added, “Before February 24, the proportion of our fleet’s potential to the Russian fleet was one to 12, but now it has increased threefold to one to four.
“Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, we have been protecting our shore. Now we are looking at the shore controlled by the Russians.
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“We once thought that was unrealistic. Today it’s very real.”
He said that he confident of wining on the sea because the Russian navy is small, compared to their land forces and Ukraine can pack a much harder punch in the Black Sea to re-take Crimea.
Neizhpapa said that drones will be crucial adding, “We have to act in an asymmetrical way against a more powerful enemy. We must use any means to deprive them of their dominance and destroy their fleet.
“Everyone sees how much drones help us on the ground and destroy enemy equipment. So there is a desire to see how they would work at the sea.”
Former Russian prime minister and Putin ally, Dmitry Medvedev, warned, “As far as some serious offensives involving an attempt to retake Crimea are concerned, it is absolutely clear that this will serve as a basis for the use of all means of protection, including those provided for by the basic doctrine of nuclear deterrence, when the use of any types of weapons against Russia poses a threat to the existence of the state as such.”
He added that “an attempt to split off part of the state would be tantamount to an encroachment on the existence of the state itself.”
Medvedev continued, “Therefore, draw your own conclusions: there are obvious grounds for using any weapons. Absolutely any.
“I hope our ‘friends’ across the ocean realise this.”