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Russian forces continue strengthening their defense lines on the border between Kherson Oblast and Crimea, Ukraine’s General Staff reported on Dec. 16.
In addition, Russia is sending mobilized conscripts from Krasnodar Oblast to protect the North Crimean Canal, a water supply artery that leads to the occupied Crimea, the General Staff said.
Ukraine’s military intelligence said on Dec. 15 that Russian forces in occupied Crimea were strengthening the coastline, fearing that Ukrainian troops could land there.
Russia is digging trenches and mining the coastline near the village of Molochne close to the town of Saky, which hosts a Russian military air base, the intelligence said.
Russian forces appear to lack sufficient infrastructure to support their troops in Crimea, the Institute for the Study of War said on Dec. 13.
A recent poll by the Rating Group showed that 85% of Ukrainians believe that victory in the war with Russia requires the liberation of all occupied territories, including Crimea and occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.