On 5 September, Russia began the active phase of the Caucasus-2016 military exercise close to Ukrainian border.
The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry said on Facebook that the command and units that are deployed at the training ranges of the Southern Military District of Russia (Rostov-on-Don) and in occupied Crimea are on full combat alert. The Southern Military District has been increased by 11,200 men.
A naval group of Russia's Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla have left their permanent bases and moved to the area of the Crimean training range Opuk and the northwestern part of the Caspian Sea, respectively.
The active phase of the exercise is expected to last until 10 September.
The Centre for Army, Conversion and Disarmament, a think-tank, said in early August that the exercise could grow into a military operation against Ukraine.