Those tracking the developments in the Ukraine, and specifically the Russian response to this weekend’s coup, will be interested to note that according to the Russian flot.com website, the large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov, previously known for its participation in the Syrian naval arms build up, is expected to arrive in the Crimean port of Sevastopol carrying 200 armed soldiers, sent from the nearby Black Sea town of Temryuk.
Today at 12:00 from the Russian port of Temryuk should arrive in Sevastopol, the large landing ship “Nikolai Fil’chenkov” with 200 soldiers on board. This was reported today by the chairman of the Ukraine “Freedom” faction Oleg Tyagnibok citing sources in the Crimean.
“I can show you the text message” – said Tyahnibok and read: “Today at 12:00 is expected the arrival from the port of Temryuk in the Russian Federation in the city of Sevastopol large landing ship Nikolai Fil’chenkov from the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation. It will bring about 200 armed soldiers from the 328th Marine battalion, who are based in Temryuk and 10 BTR-80.”
He also noted that “on February 22-23, … IL-76 flights airlifted from Kubinka (Moscow region) to Anapa, personnel from the 45th Airborne Special Forces unit and additional divisions were relocated via four Il-76 flights from Pskov to Anapa. And from Sochi to Anapa were transported six Mi-8 helicopsters”- said Tyahnibok.
This appears to not be an isolated move as the naval build up seems to be escalating. In a concurrent release, Izvestia Kiev reported that out of Kubinka, four ships carrying special forces, are being relocated to Anapa. From there, in four hours, they will depart fo Sevastopol at a speed of 10-15 knots, citing “Izvestia in Ukraine” as a source. According to the source, the redeployment is “qualitative, not quantitative” and that the Ukraine is following these developments.
It remains to be seen if the Ukraine, or its brand new NATO BFFs, will respond in kind.