Two Russian paratroopers have drowned during exercises in the Moscow-annexed Ukrainian region of Crimea.
Officials from Russia's Southern Military Region said on June 26 that the two paratroopers who served in the Russian Army on a contract basis died during routine parachute jumps at the Stariy Krym (Old Crimea) training field.
"Two contract servicemen from an airborne landing unit stationed in Crimea landed on the water surface and could not separate themselves from the parachute fittings in a timely manner," the report said, adding that the attempts to rescue the paratroopers failed.
A special commission of the Airborne Troops command and local law enforcement officials have opened an investigation, the statement said.
Russia seized control of Ukraine's Crimea in March 2014, sending in troops without insignia, securing key facilities, and staging a referendum deemed illegitimate by Ukraine and most other countries.