The Russian occupiers are strengthening their positions in Crimea and preparing for the liberation of the peninsula by Ukrainian troops, a representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, Andriy Chernyak said in an interview with Ukrinform news agency.
Moreover, the Russian leadership is actively selling real estate in Crimea and sending their families to Russia.
HUR believes that there are a number of facts that indicate that the Russian troops are allegedly preparing for an attack by the Armed Forces on the temporarily occupied peninsula.
"We are constantly monitoring the situation in the occupied Crimea and note the appearance and strengthening of fortifications — they dug out trenches even on the beaches. But, as Sir Winston Churchill said, we shall fight on the beaches as well," Chernyak said.
According to him, the more the Russian army suffers losses and defeats at the front, the more anxious the mood of the occupiers in Crimea becomes. He called it "a certain trend" that has been going on for several months and is intensifying.
"The rank-and-file and ordinary servants of the occupiers also feel an urgent need to leave the peninsula, but they are reassured that everything is under control, there is no reason to panic," he said.
Russia has a sufficiently powerful grouping in Crimea — both at sea, on land, and in the air. For example, Russians concentrated about 90 combat aircraft and 60 combat helicopters there, Chernyak says.
In addition, according to Ukrainian intelligence, the occupiers have placed carriers of nuclear weapons in Crimea. In particular, warships and submarines, aircraft and ground complexes.
According to Chernyak, Russia potentially has the possibility to use nuclear weapons, but "it is doubtful that it will use them."
"Such a scenario will by no means lead to victory over Ukraine, but it will mean a catastrophe for Russia itself," he explained.
On March 24, 2023, the representative of President Zelenskyy in Crimea, Tamila Tasheva, stated that the end of the Russian Federation's war against Ukraine will begin with the liberation of the temporarily occupied peninsula.
Spy chief Kyrylo Budanov declared that Ukraine will return the temporarily occupied Crimea by a combined means: military force and diplomacy.
Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov believes that Ukraine can return Crimea without fighting.