Over the past 20 years, paramilitary groups have started to grow and spread out of the regular armed forces in Russia and this trend is accelerating, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.
“This ‘paramilitarization’ has accelerated considerably since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and is particularly prominent in the Crimean peninsula,” according to a recent intelligence analysis.
“The leader of Russian-occupied Crimea, Sergei Aksionov, helped establish several local units that are often said to be linked to Cossack traditions,” the ministry said, referring to militant communities based, among other things, on the territory of present-day Ukraine.
“Most of them have been given the semi-official status of reserve units of the regular army. It is likely that Aksionov wants to show great patriotism in recruiting fighters, but he is also worried of the regular army’s ability to defend the peninsula,” the summary reads.
The ministry notes that the main element of the Russian crew “is currently mainly deployed outside the peninsula and has suffered heavy losses”.
Source: The Delfi