Ukraine is refitting and expanding its naval fleet, including repairing its flagship, the frigate “Hetman Sahaydachnyy”, to counter a Russian military build-up in the annexed territory of Crimea, the commander of the Ukrainian navy says.
The upgrade will be helped by $30 million worth of U.S. aid, part of a $500 million package from Washington for the Ukrainian military which Kiev expects to receive next year.
“Step by step we will rebuild our fleet from the beginning,” Vice Admiral Ihor Voronchenko told Reuters in an interview.
“Our capacities in terms of quality will be better that the ones which remained in Crimea.”
Ukraine lost two-thirds of its fleet, which had been mostly based in Sevastopol, when Russia seized Crimea from Kiev in 2014.