A U.S.-led battalion of more than 1,100 soldiers will be deployed in Poland from the start of April, a U.S. commander said on Monday, as the alliance sets up a new force in response to Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. More than 900 U.S. soldiers, around 150 British personnel and some 120 Romanian troops will make up the battlegroup in northeastern Poland, one of four multinational formations across the Baltic region that Russia has condemned as an aggressive strategy on its frontiers. Britain, Canada and Germany are leading the other three battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which are due to be operational by June. They will have support from a series of NATO nations including France. In total, some 4,000 NATO troops – equipped with tanks, armored vehicles, air support and hi-tech mission information rooms – will monitor for and defend against any potential Russian incursions.
On Thursday, the Leninsky District court of the Crimean city of Sevastopol arrested three suspected members of a subversive group that had allegedly plotted acts of sabotage at Crimea’s military facilities. According to a statement published by Federal Security Service, on 9th of November, the Federal Security Service detained members of a terrorist group deployed by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate, which planned sabotage attacks on Crimea’s military facilities and critical civilian infrastructure. The service claimed that powerful explosive devices, weapons and rounds of ammunition, means of special communications and also maps of facilities had been seized from the detained persons. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry has denied that any of its employees had been detained by Russia’s Federal Security Service in Crimea. Commenting on the thwarted attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Ukrainian authorities resorted to practicing terrorism instead of seeking peaceful solution to the crisis, adding that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande were notified of the “gross provocation” orchestrated by Kiev.