SIMFEROPOL, March 18. /TASS/. Crimea is a fortress in terms of security, and its citizens should not be afraid of any Ukrainian provocations. Crimea’s head Sergei Aksenov said in an interview with TASS that the peninsula has more forces and means that the whole of Ukraine.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a session of the State Duma’s Defense Committee earlier that the Russian military group in Crimea was reinforced and provides protection for the territory of the peninsula.
"There is no threat to Crimea. The security of the Crimean residents is being fully provided. The Defense Ministry created a safe shield under the president’s orders. Crimea was turned into an unassailable fortress, so all can sleep peacefully," Aksenov said.
There is a most powerful military group equipped with advanced arms on the peninsula, he said. These are Black Sea Fleet ships, modern complexes of air and anti-submarine defense, electronic warfare systems and so on. "Everything is firmly closed. There are more forces in Crimea now than in the whole of Ukraine," the regional head stressed.
Aksenov noted that after the breakthrough of sabotage parties in 2016 it was decided to reinforce the border protection with technical means. "There are no illegal breaches of the border now. There used to be few of them, though. So, the neck on the border with Ukraine, the land part was fully closed; the sea part is being safely controlled," he explained.
Following a coup d’etat in Kiev in February 2014, the Crimean and Sevastopol authorities decided to hold a referendum on Crimea’s reintegration with Russia. More than 80% people with the voting right took part in the vote that was held on March 16, 2014. The reunification with Russia was backed by 96.7% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol residents. On March 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement on the accession of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation, and on March 21 the document was ratified by the Federal Assembly. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.