Russian President Vladimir Putin has created new fears about invasion as satellite images show an increase in Russian troops at Ukraine’s borders.
US officials are concerned by the mysterious Russian military movements in the region. A Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby stated that the Pentagon is now closely monitoring the Ukraine region.
Satellite images show a build-up of tanks, armoured units and self-propelled artillery as well as ground troops, near the Russian town of Yelnya, which is close to the border of Belarus and Ukraine.
Videos posted to social media show military trucks and trains transporting tanks and missiles through Russia’s southwest.
An anonymous US official confirmed to the Washington Post that there was some movement, but not as large as the surge of Moscow’s forces in the early part of this year.
Satellite images show a buildup of tanks, armoured troops and self-propelled guns as well as ground troops near the Russian town Yelnya. This is close to the border with Belarus and Ukraine.
Satellite images show troop tents and an administrative zone in the presence of large ground forces deployments
Satellite image shows large ground forces present at the northern edge Yelnya town, near the Ukrainian border
Russian President Vladimir Putin has created new fears about invasion as satellite images show an increase in Russian troops at Ukraine’s border.
Satellite images show the Russian military units, including the elite 1st Guards Tank Army at the border, since September, after a joint military exercise between Belarus and Russia.
Maxar Technologies took the images.
‘The point is that it is not a drill. It doesn’t look like a training exercise. Something is going on. What is it? Washington Post was told by Michael Kofman (director of the Russia Studies Program at the U.S.-based non-profit analysis group CNA),
Kofman stated that satellite images showed that Russian 41st Combined Arms Army forces did not return to the Siberian city Novosibirsk following the joint exercise. Instead, they joined forces near the Ukrainian border.
John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson, stated that he was aware of reports of unusual Russian military activity in the vicinity of Ukraine.
“We’re going continue to consult with allies, partners on this topic… As we’ve previously stated, any escalatory and aggressive actions would concern the United States greatly.”
This satellite image was taken Monday and shows tanks, armoured personnel carrier, and support equipment amongst a large ground force deployment at the northern border of Yelnya
Satellite image shows self propelled artillery and other equipment amid the presence of a large ground forces deployment
Satellite image shows the presence of large ground forces deployed at the northern border of Yelnya
This buildup follows US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s recent tour of the Black Sea region. He stopped in NATO partner states Ukraine, Georgia, and alliance full member Romania to show solidarity and gain more support for Russia in the region.
Since 2014, Russia-aligned separatists have been fighting Ukrainian government forces in eastern Ukraine.
Also in 2014, Russian troops seize the Crimea region of Ukraine. This triggered stiff Western sanctions against the country.
This buildup also comes just days after Putin stressed the need to strengthen Russia’s air defenses in light of NATO’s military activities close to Russia’s borders.
Russian snipers were also seen participating in a shooting competition in the Krasnodar region, bordering Ukraine.
Russian snipers were also seen participating in a shooting competition in the Krasnodar area bordering Ukraine.
A Russian sniper took part at a shooting contest in Krasnodar, Ukraine’s border region
Russia’s March invasion of Ukraine triggered fears of an invasion and led to thousands of troops and heavy military equipment being gathered at the border with Ukraine and in Crimea.
Moscow called the movements an exercise. However, many military assets remained for several weeks and analysts saw it a warning to Biden.
Washington refused to recognize Russia’s claim to Crimea, and has provided lethal military assistance to Kiev to fight the separatists.
Moscow has made it clear that it will not accept any effort to bring Ukraine (a former Soviet Union part) into the NATO alliance.
Kirby stated that Washington would consult with allies and partners about the Russian buildup.
He said, “We continue to support deescalation of the region and a diplomatic resolution to the conflict at eastern Ukraine,”
Russian troops have been deployed to the Ukraine just days after Putin stated that he would increase the country’s air defenses.
During a meeting of military officials and arms manufacturers in Sochi in southern Russia, Putin highlighted the U.S.-led NATO missile defense components being deployed in Eastern Europe and the increasing frequency of NATO ships’ missions near Russian waters in both the Baltic and Black Seas.
He said, “Even now, U.S. warships have entered the Black Sea, we can see them in binoculars, or crosshairs, of our defense systems,” referring to the U.S. destroyer USS Porter’s arrival in the Black Sea over the weekend. USS Mount Whitney, the flagship U.S. 6th Fleet, will join him this week.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (center) speaks during a meeting of high-ranking officers and heads of defense industries in the Bocharov Ruchei residence, in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Monday
The U.S. Sixth Fleet stated in a statement that they will help ‘further improve collaboration between U.S. forces at sea’ and that NATO allies and partners stand together for a safe, secure, and secure Black Sea region, as well as building partner capacity to improve effectiveness, interoperability, and security.
Russia has resisted the deployment of U.S. ships and NATO ships near its waters. Tensions between Moscow, the West and Russia have fallen to post-Cold War lows following Russia’s 2014 annexation and support for an insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
Russia suspended its NATO mission last month and ordered the closure its Moscow office. NATO had withdrawn the accreditation for eight Russian officials to its Brussels headquarters. Russia claimed they had been working secretly for Russian intelligence.
Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern over NATO forces being deployed near Russian borders. It described it as a threat its security. Russia and NATO have also continuously accused each other for provocative and dangerous maneuvers in the air and at sea.
Russia claimed that one its warships fired warning shots, and a warplane shot bombs at the British destroyer Defender in June to drive it out of Black Sea waters near Sevastopol. Britain denied that account, insisted its ship wasn´t fired upon and said it was sailing in Ukrainian waters.
Like most of the world, Britain recognizes Crimea as part of Ukraine despite the peninsula´s 2014 annexation by Russia.
Moscow warned that it was prepared to target intruding ships if they ignore warnings.
Putin stated that ‘We must improve our air defense system and space defense system, as leading powers have been working on high-speed strike weapon designs’. It’s also justified by the military-political environment, including the increasing intensity of NATO aircraft flying near Russia and the appearance warships armed in guided missiles in both the Baltic and Black Seas.