Berdyansk to become the main base for the Ukrainian Naval Forces in the Sea of Azov, and stationing sites will be situated in Mariupol and Henichesk. Admiral Ihor Voronchenko, Commander of the Navy of Ukrainian Armed Forces claimed this in the interview to BBC News.
“Based on the decision of the NSDC, we are increasing our presence in the Sea of Azov due to the build-up of the group of boats, the arrival of ships and the deployment of marines and artillery. It is done on the principle of co-location,’ he said.
We received a joint order from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Defense on the transfer of the former branch of the Zaporizhia University last week. It is a very auspicious location for the base,’ the Commander of Navy of UA Armed Forces claimed.
The Admiral explained that the reinforcement of the defense capacity of the Zaporizhia region has become a priority after Russia opened the Kerch Bridge and started blocking the movement of Ukrainian vessels through the Kerch Strait.
It should be noted that the Russian activity in the Sea of Azov increased over the last three months. Russians do not allow the trade vessels heading to and emerging from the Ukrainian ports to freely pass through the Kerch Strait. In this regard, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko commissioned the Minister of Defense, the Chief of the General Staff and the Commandment of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to take measures to stop Russian provocations in relation to blocking the entry of vessels into Ukrainian ports on the Azov Sea. The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine developed a set of measures in response to Russia's actions. The set of measures includes the limit of passenger traffic with Russia.