Russia expanded its defense training after Ukraine stated it was preparing to retake Crimea.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has said that his nation is getting ready for an operation to retake Crimea, and Russia has made moves to fortify the peninsula’s defenses.

President Zelensky claimed Ukraine was organizing an ambush operation to reclaim Crimea during a press conference on February 24. He said that Ukrainian service members are being trained abroad in new units that are being created expressly for this mission.

“We are preparing for them and making military maneuvers. We are psychologically getting ready. We are also assembling technical, armed, and military troops. We are prosperous. We are developing striking units in various disciplines, forming new brigades, and sending personnel to train not only in Ukraine but even abroad “said Zelensky.

Zelensky and Ukrainian authorities have vowed time and time again to retake Crimea, which Russia invaded in 2014 following a vote that neither Kyiv nor the West recognized.

Russia has frequently threatened Ukraine that it intends to attack Crimea militarily. Early in February, Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s national security council, declared that any attack on Crimea would be seen as a direct assault on Russia itself and that it would “face reprisal,” which “cannot be avoided by any weapon.”

On February 24, officials from Ukraine noted indications that Russia was hastily bolstering its fortifications for Crimea.

“Russia enforced a 24-hour curfew in Chaplynka in the Kherson region from February 23 to 25. The movement of military hardware from the Crimean peninsula under Russian control to fortify the defense line may be the cause “stated the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Earlier, it was reported that Russia was quickly expanding its trench network and erecting battlements around the southern Ukrainian city of Melitopol. According to satellite pictures, Russian engineers and construction equipment have been working in this region since mid-January, and their first task is to erect anti-tank emplacements. Moreover, a number of “dragon-tooth” defenses have been reported.

Observers believe that this is a ploy to fortify Russian defenses in order to stop Ukrainian army attacks on the Crimean peninsula.

Observers believe Kyiv may attack Crimea this year as the Russian-Ukrainian conflict enters its second year.

Former US Army commander in Europe, General Ben Hodges, once prophesied that the battle in the Crimean peninsula may determine whether or not the Russia-Ukraine war would continue.

“Crimea is where this conflict will end. The Ukrainian leadership is aware that maintaining Russian sovereignty over Crimea is unacceptable “said General Hodges.

According to him, Ukraine will define requirements to retake Crimea from Russia in the next months. Additionally, he emphasized that as long as Russia controls Crimea, Ukraine “will never be safe or able to restore its economy.”

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