Olensandr Turchynov: Russia is creating a “powerful fighting fist” that can strike a blow both toward Ukraine and toward our European partners
Secretary of the National Security and Defense of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov states that so-called first and second militant army corps 35 thousand men strong and Russian fighting units 9 thousand men strong are acting on the occupied territory of Donbas.
In the interview with the "Novoye Vremya" weekly magazine, he told that the entire command staff of these corps is formed from the professional Russian army officers, and more than half of the personnel are Russian mercenaries.
"Well-armed units, formed by the model of the Russian armed forces, following the Russian military regulations are an integral part of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation", - Mr. Turchynov noted.
Upon that, according to him, the third corps, made up of the professional Russian military units located along the uncontrolled part of the Ukrainian-Russian border, and which serves as the operational reserve, was created.
"The Center for territorial forces, subordinate to the Southern military district of the Armed Forces of the Russian Armed Forces, was created for commanding", - NSDC Secretary of Ukraine added.
Oleksandr Turchynov specified that only the first and the second army corps are armed with around 500 tanks, up to 900 armored vehicles, about 800 artillery and rocket systems.
He stressed that the Russian Federation also placed powerful combat groups in the occupied Crimea and along the entire border with Ukraine. "New armies are being deployed: the first tank and the twentieth combined-arms ones of the Western military district of Russia. They have solely offensive tasks. Close to our border, in the Southern military district of the Russian Federation, the one hundred tenth motorized rifle division is additionally being formed", - he said.
Mr. Turchynov stated that Russia is creating a "powerful fighting fist" that can strike a blow both toward Ukraine and toward our European partners.The full text of the interview will be published on June 17th this year.