"Forty thousand members of [Russian] military are in Crimea, 35 thousand – in certain areas of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. In the occupied territories of Donbas, Russians hold all the key military positions and are members of the units of so-called ‘pinpoint action.’ Special units, instructors are from Russia. There are from 2,100 to 2,300 of them. And about 11,000 Russian citizens (it is even before the start of issuance of Russian passports) are in the ‘ranks of the army.’ Local residents make up the rest of the personnel," former Ukrainian Joint Forces Commander Serhiy Nayev said in an interview with the TSN Ukrainian television news service.
The fact that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation keep the commanders of the so-called 1st Army Corps [of Donetsk] or the 2nd Army Corps [of Luhansk] out of the public eye partially confirm that Russian generals hold these positions, Nayev added.
When asked whether Russians perceive their assignment in the occupied Donbas as a punishment or a promotion, the ex-commander of the Joint Forces noted that Russian officers had different opinions on that issue.
“The senior commanders, generals, understand that there will be no front movement, so they calmly hold their positions. However, not very good sentiments prevail among company officers,” he said.
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