New images show Russia has pulled back some military equipment from near Ukraine but they also appear to show other hardware has arrived in the area fueling Western fears of an imminent invasion
Image: via REUTERS)
Ukraine and Russia are on the brink of war – but now new satellite images reveal Russian artillery remains near the border of Ukraine – despite claims of a partial pullback.
While the new images show Russia has pulled back some military equipment from near Ukraine, they also appear to show other hardware has arrived in the area.
Russia still has a lot of troops and equipment near its ex-Soviet neighbor, a private US company said on Thursday.
The images released by US-based Maxar Technologies, which has been tracking the buildup of Russian forces for weeks, could not be independently verified.
Earlier this week the West was seeking to verify videos purporting to show Russian troop withdrawals from close to Ukraine.
AFP via Getty Images)
Defense ministry sources on Wednesday told newspaper Izvestia that units and subunits of the 3rd, 42nd and 150th Motorized Rifle Divisions are being sent back to their permanent bases after the “partial completion of large-scale exercises of the Russian army and navy”.
But despite Moscow’s insistence of a partial pullback, Western countries have warned there was a growing Russian military presence at Ukraine’s borders.
A TikTok video posted yesterday from the Kursk region – which borders Ukraine – highlighted military vehicles on a static train.
More footage shows an MSTA-S howitzer evidently stuck in a snowy field in the Belgorod region, but it is unclear that these videos indicate any withdrawal.
Film from the Tula region shows military trucks on the move, but there is no confirmation that the clip represents a retreat from Ukraine’s borders -and some suggest it may even highlight the opposite.
The date of the footage is also unclear.
A video from the Bryansk region appears to show Russian military vehicles heading away from Ukraine.
Another in the Kursk region apparently shows the same.
Meanwhile, major military exercises continued in several regions of Russia.
Tula does not share a border with Ukraine and the position of the sun is said to probably show the vehicles heading towards frontier regions, not away.
In the Samara region, soldiers were shown firing AK-74 assault rifles, Pecheneg machine guns and RPG-7V grenade launchers to repel a mock enemy in war games.
Troops and air force pilots staged drills with Russia’s ultra-modern S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile system in the central military district.
Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Tech)
Despite the claimed return of some forces to permanent bases, Russian war games in Belarus remained at full scale with Su-35 fighters practicing intercepting enemy warplanes and MiG-31 fighters forcing a simulated intruder to land.
Russia’s upper house speaker Valentina Matviyenko, a close Putin ally, warned that Moscow will defend against any attack on the rebel-held Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Western leaders have expressed fears of a “false flag” operation by Russia here.