The chief of the General staff of the Armed forces of Ukraine (AFU) Viktor Muzhenko said that before the referendum in the Crimea in 2014, the government planned to send to the Peninsula airborne group. He told about it in interview to “the Ukrainian truth”.
According Muzhenko, March 1, he together with the head of the Main operations Directorate Viktor Nazarov offered to send paratroopers to capture airfields on the Peninsula. It was planned “to take certain actions, which would not allow the Russian military to move in appropriate directions”.
The military wanted to seize the isthmus between the Crimea and the Kerch Peninsula, and also to throw at Simferopol two battalions. The military had planned to cover the tank mechanized battalion direction on the highway Sevastopol-Simferopol and to block the route Yalta-Simferopol with the help of soldiers of the mountain infantry battalion.
“So we completely blocked the access of Russian entities to the steppe Crimea. It was a chance, we thought. Because all military facilities on the South coast was already blocked by the Russian military”, — said Muzhenko.
According to him, the same day it was ordered to the commander of Air forces for security of flights and aviation support. However, to implement the plans failed due to the disposal of the former chief of staff armed forces of Ukraine Mikhail Kutsin. Muzhenko could not clarify why such a decision was made, but suggested that it could be discussed at the meeting of the national security Council and defense of Ukraine.
The chief of staff, said that all these activities were planned under the drill legend “Spring rain-2014” —bringing forces on full combat alert to test their effectiveness. While Muzhenko stressed that all departments were ready for the assignment.
“It would not be possible to hold the Crimean what they call a “referendum”. How would further developments, it is very difficult to predict… But there was a chance,” concluded the Head of the General staff of Ukraine.
According to him, the next day, Russian Il-76 aircraft and 12 helicopters flew over Crimea. Muzhenko wanted to give the command to shoot down aircraft, but he, as Deputy chief of the General staff, had no right to give such orders. The commander of the Air Forces of VS of Ukraine Yuriy baydak also refused to give the order. As a result, the aerodromes landed about 1.5 thousand Russian troops, says Muzhenko.
He added that on March 18, in the Kherson region there was the first battle — then “Russian subversive group” moved to a special forces unit of the 8th regiment.
“More clashes were not. And the Russians made attacks from the Turkish (Perekop) shaft in our direction — in the direction Armyansk-Kalanchak. Shot from a mortar, but shoot usually in the sea, not to us,” — said Muzhenko.
Crimea became part of Russia following a referendum in March 2014. Ukraine, USA and EU countries have called the incident “annexation.”