REUTERS

Russia has deployed to the occupied Crimea a variety of heavy weaponry, according to the U.S. Mission to the OSCE.

"As part of its broader efforts to destabilize Ukraine and to disrupt regional security, Russia has engaged in a multi-year military buildup in Crimea," the deputy chief of the Mission, Elisabeth Rosenstock-Siller, told the Permanent Council, Vienna on May 13.

"Even as it announced the drawdown of its forces along its border with Ukraine, Russia recently transferred Air Assault elements to Crimea, along with T-72B3 battle tanks, 120mm mortars, 122mm howitzers, and armored vehicles, among other equipment and hardware," the diplomat stressed.

Read alsoFM Kuleba: Zelensky to discuss Crimea, among other issues, if he meets PutinFurthermore, Russia continues to "conscript thousands of young residents of Crimea into its military, some of whom have been transferred to Russian military units assigned to carry out the Kremlin's agenda in the Donbas."

The U.S. Mission to the OSCE has called on Russia to cease its repression in Crimea and to release all Ukrainian political prisoners it holds.

"We further call on Russia to end its militarization and occupation of Crimea and remove all its forces and hardware from eastern Ukraine," the diplomat said.