Russia has established a new chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defence unit in Sevastopol, a city in the south-western region of Crimea.
Russian Southern Military District spokesperson colonel Igor Gorbul was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying: "A new unit within the structure of the Black Sea Fleet has been established and has started its designated duties of CBRN defence, which based on its potential, can fully meet the needs of military units and formations in Crimea in its current state."
Employing both draftees and contracted soldiers, the unit has about 200 units of weaponry and military equipment, including modern CBRN reconnaissance vehicles, which are based on the BTR-80 armoured personnel carrier (APC), Gorbul added.
Additional equipment includes special machines for thermal treatment of weaponry and military equipment, such as TMS-65U special heat decontamination vehicles, TDA-2K smoke-screen vehicles, as well as other advanced models of equipment.
Gorbul said that unit personnel are scheduled to hold a field exercise at the Opuk training area in the Republic of Crimea in August.
"Particular attention during the month-long training will be given to masking troops and facilities with aerosol," Gorbul added
Previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, the Crimean Peninsula was annexed by Russia following a disputed referendum on 16 March, in which more than 96% of residents voted to split from Ukraine.
Crimea is currently going through an integration process, which should be completed by 1 January 2015, according to RIA Novosti.