It is possible that Russian troops would try to break out of occupied Crimea to the Kherson region in order to allow water to flow from the Dnipro river into the North Crimean Canal. The commander of the Naval forces of Ukraine Oleksiy Neizhpapa said this in an interview with Duma, Ukrainska Pravda reported.
"I do not exclude such actions on the part of the Russian Empire. We are preparing. I can’t tell everything, but here’s a small fact. The range of the Neptune missile system allows us to use it from mainland Ukraine on the approaches to Sevastopol," he said.
He also added that as soon as the Navy understands that the canal has begun to operate in Crimea, this will be a sure signal that the Russian Federation is preparing for a full-scale confrontation "and the Ukrainian side will have to answer the calls."
"We are preparing for a full-scale military confrontation, realizing that if this happens, then, alas, it will be a lot of losses - both our soldiers and the civilian population. Many people don’t understand this now - although the country has been fighting for the seventh year," added the Navy commander.
Neizhpapa also noted that the Ukrainian units are preparing not only for the "trench warfare" that is now being observed in Donbas but also for offensive operations - "for the work of units in urban conditions, for missions and military operations, not only in defense, for maneuverable actions "
"Now we are doing the reinforcement at sea. The President and the Minister of Defense gave the Navy carte blanche: a project is being developed to build new fleet-based locations - we can’t only be present in a small harbor in Odesa and in a small harbor in Ochakovo ... Decisions are being made to get land on the shores of the Black and Azov Seas to create decent bases," the commander explained.
He added that his task will be to ensure that the Ukrainian Navy can take the main attack not on the coast, but at sea.
In March 2014, the occupation of the Crimean peninsula by Russian forces began. Already on March 16, an illegal referendum was held in these territories, in which the desire of the people to annex the territory of Crimea to Russia was allegedly discovered.