If it's "complete nonsense" that there are Russian troops in Crimea, in the recent words of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, then who are these soldiers outfitted with the latest Russian military uniforms, guns, and armored cars?
The "local defense forces" currently occupying Crimea are wearing unmarked uniforms that look a hell of a lot like the ones that Russian designer Valentin Yudashkin made for the Russian army. They're carrying Kalashnikovs and Russian Dragunov sniper rifles, RGD-5 grenades, and NSV machine guns. They're riding around in Russian "Tiger" and "Lynx" armored cars. And yet, according to the Kremlin, they do not exist.
Russia is allowed to have 25,000 troops in Ukraine, per an agreement with the Ukrainian government. But those troops must stay on their bases. Russia has previously explained sending forces to Crimea by saying they were going to join the Black Sea Fleet, which is based in Sevastopol. But it continues to pretend that the unmarked troops besieging Ukrainian military bases aren't theirs—Putin said so in his press conference on Wednesday, and Shoigu echoed that message yesterday. Russia Today even dedicated a whole segment to ridiculing the western "media frenzy" that went "so far as to report that Russia is invading Ukraine:"
Ukrainian journalists asked one soldier wearing an unmarked uniform what army he's a part of. Here's what happened:
The following exchange begins at the 0:46 mark:
Soldier: What publication do you work for?
Soldier: So it's Ukrainian.
Journalist: Yes. Are you Ukrainian?
Soldier: Us? We are Russian.
Journalist: Then please explain what Russian troops are doing on Ukrainian territory.
Let's not kid ourselves, these are Russian soldiers.
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