From the first days of the occupation, Moscow has been turning the Crimean Peninsula into a military base to control the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, provoke and threaten the Black Sea countries, including Ukraine and NATO member states. In addition, Russia uses the peninsula as a base to ensure its military presence in Syria.
“Since the beginning of the occupation of the peninsula, Russia has been increasing its military contingent in Crimea almost every year, turning a once resort and thriving place into a militaristic fortress. It is clear that this was the main goal of the occupation of Crimea because the peninsula has a very favourable geopolitical location, which allows Russia to have significant advantages and the ability to influence the Black Sea region and ‘push for its rights’ in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov,” Head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov said in a comment to the Ukrainian Security and Cooperation Centre.
According to him, Ukraine is ready to fight until the complete de-occupation of the Crimean Peninsula.
“Ukraine has launched the Crimea Platform as the first step of international diplomatic pressure. It will be followed by others. Crimea will be liberated and criminals will be punished. We will leave no stone unturned for this,” the serviceman said.
As a reminder, on 23 August, Ukraine held the first Crimea Platform international summit, which aims to elaborate and further implement the strategy for de-occupation of Crimea. The event was attended by representatives of 46 countries and international organisations, in particular, 14 heads of state, including President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.