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Russian Black Sea Fleet warships land troops on Crimean coast in large-scale drills

March 21, 2017, 14:24 UTC+3

The troops delivered to the coast immediately engaged in a battle to defend the terrain and prevent the landing of an enemy amphibious assault group

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© Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

OPUK PRACTICE RANGE (Crimea), March 21. /TASS/. About 300 paratroopers from the Novorossiysk air assault division have landed onto the Crimean coast from Black Sea Fleet warships as part of the Airborne Force’s large-scale drills on the peninsula, Large Unit Commander Major-General Roman Breus said on Tuesday.

The drills involving three Airborne Force large units, the Black Sea Fleet and the Aerospace Force kicked off in Crimea on Monday. More than 2,500 paratroopers and about 600 pieces of combat hardware are taking part in the maneuvers at the Opuk training range on the Black Sea peninsula.

"The amphibious assault landing of paratroopers of the Novorossiysk airborne force large unit onto the Crimean coast from the warships of the Black Sea Fleet has become the second episode of the practical scenario unfolding at the Opuk practice range today," the commander said.

At first, counter-sabotage boats delivered engineer reconnaissance groups to the coast to clear it of mines and ensure the safe landing of the amphibious assault main forces, he said.

"After the coast was cleared of mines and other explosives, two large amphibious assault ships delivered the main assault forces - a battalion-level tactical group of about 300 servicemen from the Novorossiysk division," Breus said.

The troops delivered to the coast immediately engaged in a battle to defend the terrain and prevent the landing of an enemy amphibious assault group. Before the paratroops were landed, units of the Ulan-Ude air assault brigade seized a coastal sector to assist the landing of the main forces, after which they switched to coastal defense in that area.

Meanwhile, about 200 servicemen from the Kamyshin separate air assault brigade have landed from helicopters in the depth of the Crimean peninsula, Brigade Commander Colonel Alexander Valitov said.

"The landing of a tactical air assault group comprising artillery and air assault units of the Kamyshin separate air assault brigade from Mi-8 and Mi-26 helicopters has become the third episode of practical drills to simulate combat operations," the commander said.

"The troops were landed from the helicopters in an air assault manner, with the rotocraft hovering at a small altitude above the ground. Overall, about 200 our paratroopers have landed," Valitov said.

After their landing, the paratroopers active in the Dzhankoi direction have started to block and destroy sabotage and reconnaissance groups of a simulated enemy and units of illegal armed formations. They will also be inspecting cars and trucks and individual citizens in border areas.

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