By Tim Lister and Gianluca Mezzofiore | CNN
New satellite images released by a US-based technology company appear to show continuing Russian military build-up in Crimea, western Russia and Belarus, as pressure continues to mount on Ukraine from three directions, underscoring fears that the Kremlin is planning an incursion into Ukrainian territory.
In Crimea, a large deployment of troops and equipment was observed by Maxar in images collected Thursday, according to Stephen Wood, a senior director at the company. The deployment is at the formerly disused Oktyabrskoye airfield, north of the Crimean capital Simferopol.
Maxar assesses that more than 550 troop tents and hundreds of vehicles have arrived at the site. Other sites in Crimea have also seen an influx of troops and equipment, including at Novoozernoye, where there have been extensive artillery deployments and training exercises.
A new deployment was identified by Maxar for the first time near the town of Slavne on the northwest coast of Crimea, including armored vehicles.
The new deployments in Crimea were observed on the same day that several Russian warships, including large amphibious landing ships, arrived in Sevastopol, Crimea’s main port.
In Belarus, Maxar observed what it calls a “new deployment of troops, military vehicles and helicopters” at the Zyabrovka airfield near the city of Gomel, some 15 miles (25 kilometers) from the border with Ukraine. It is the first time helicopters have been seen in the area. There also appears to be a field hospital at the site.
Additionally, troops and multiple battle groups remain deployed near the Belarusian city of Rechitsa — less than 30 miles from the border with Ukraine. Previous satellite imagery had shown the establishment of tent encampments near Rechitsa.
When combined with recent videos, they suggest a growing Russian presence in the area, which is some 200 miles east of where joint Russian-Belarus exercises got underway Thursday.
Social media videos have shown substantial movements by Russian military units in the past few days to the east of Ukraine, around the cities of Kursk, Rostov-on-Don and Bryansk.
Maxar reports what it calls “a large deployment of troops and military forces” that have “recently arrived at the Kursk training area to the east of the city — approximately 75 miles to the east of the border with Ukraine. “
“Additional equipment continues to arrive in the area and preparations are being made to accommodate more troops and equipment,” Maxar said.
Satellite pics show Russia assembling on 3 sides of Ukraine appeared first on maserietv.com.