Sukhoi Su-27 drawing
Russia has fortified the Crimean peninsula, annexed from Ukraine in 2014, with numerous additional air assets deployed to Belbek air base in the historically significant region. “More than a dozen SU-27 and SU-30 fighter jets which Russia is deploying to boost its air force, amid heightened tensions with Ukraine, arrived in Crimea on Saturday,” wrote Reuters.
The development comes at a time when tension between the two belligerents is increasing. After the recent shooting incident in the Sea of Azov, today a Ukrainian official called on Britain to send a warship through the Kerch Strait to check Russia’s reaction to the freedom of navigation of the seas maneuver.
“When it is being said that Russia won’t allow the passage of a British ship, I have one remark – has anyone tried it?” said a high-ranking Ukrainian official according to Zero Hedge.
The conflict should be seen in the context of U.S. forces also withdrawing from Syria and Afghanistan with the new Trump directives announced this week.