The former Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, interrogated in of Kyiv Obolon Court on the case of high treason by the Ukrainian ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, said that Russia sent 24 thousand troops for the annexation of Crimea.

According to him, in 2014, several groups of saboteurs operated on the peninsula, which included Russian military, FSB officers and contract soldiers.

“I can confirm that the occupation was carried out, aggression of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, primarily the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, which started from February 20, was carried out by 24 thousand people. Secondly, contract soldiers, subversive groups. The third is the FSB of Russia. Their role was to take control of the SBU and other law enforcement agencies, or directly through the executives, or through individuals who betrayed the Ukrainian oath and took the side of the aggressor," Nalyvaichenko stressed.

Notably, pro-Russian activists, according to the ex-head of the SBU, appeared in the Crimea before annexation.

 “And one more component is separatist, anti-Ukrainian organizations, the so-called "Cossacks" and others, which in the times of Yanukovich were not only restored but also returned to the territory of the Republic of Crimea” the official said.

Some sources claim, that the Crimean militia did not resist the invaders and voluntarily surrendered their weapons.