Russia beefing up military on Ukraine’s border – Janes
Russia’s armed forces are deploying military hardware close to the border with Ukraine, according to information from a leading Western defense-intelligence firm.
As tensions flare on the shared border, US business outlet Bloomberg has alleged that Russia is continuing to pull in equipment towards the demarcation line amid concerns in recent weeks that Moscow could be planning an invasion of its Eastern European neighbor.
On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that satellite imagery from defense intelligence-firm Janes showed that tanks, artillery, and air-defense systems have been shuttled to the borderlands near its neighbor since November.
According to a representation of Janes’ analysis compiled by Bloomberg, 700 vehicles are stationed at Yelnya, said to be the largest garrison. However, Yelnya is closer to Belarus than Ukraine.
Meanwhile, from October to December, hardware has also been positioned at two training grounds in the border regions, as well as points on the Crimean Peninsula.
Despite the purported buildup of military equipment, the satellite imagery showed that the number of troops on the ground is not high, Janes claimed, while adding that Russia would be able to deploy large numbers of troops using trains or aircraft at short notice.
In an article published earlier this month, Janes said it had seen a “significant increase in anomalous Russian military activity across the Ukrainian border area of operations, defined as being within 250 km” of its border since late October.
The latest publication from Bloomberg comes amid concerns from Western leaders and Kiev’s intelligence service that Moscow is planning to launch a large-scale invasion of Ukraine. Reports have swirled around Anglophone outlets in recent weeks, which have been rejected by Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov as “groundless” and “hysteria” being whipped up in the press.
Last month, he said the movement of Moscow’s armed forces on its own territory is an internal matter and of no concern to anyone else, and that Russia “poses no threat to anyone.”
US news site POLITICO came under fire earlier in November for reports that claimed Russian forces were beefing up their presence near the border with Ukraine. Satellite images published alongside the article purported to show hardware near the city of Yelnya, around 250 kilometers from Ukraine, and closer to neighboring Belarus.
The latest claims that Moscow is planning an incursion into Ukraine come just months after similar alarms were raised in April. These calls have been an annual occurrence for some years now.