Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn't appear to be merely bluffing or saber rattling with his threats against Ukraine, according to new satellite images released Thursday by Maxar Technologies and collected over the past 24 hours.
The images reveal several significant new military deployments across the region, including the arrival of more than 550 troop tents and equipment and hundreds of vehicles in Crimea at Oktyabrskoye airfield, new troops and equipment near Novoozernoye on the shores of Lake Donuzlav, extensive artillery deployments and training activity at Novoozernoye and a new deployment near the town of Slavne, on the northwest coast of the Crimean peninsula.
In Belarus, a new deployment of troops, military vehicles and helicopters was identified at Zyabrovka airfield near Gomel, less than 15 miles from the Ukraine border, while troops and multiple battle groups remain deployed near the city of Rechitsa — less than 27 miles from the border.
In western Russia, a large deployment of troops and military forces has recently arrived at the Kursk training area to the east of the city — approximately 68 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.
Russia's military buildup near Ukraine expanded in late January to include supplies of blood along with other medical material that would allow it to treat casualties, according to three U.S. officials who spoke with Reuters on the condition of anonymity.
"It doesn't guarantee that there's going to be another attack, but you would not execute another attack unless you have that in hand," said Ben Hodges, a retired U.S. lieutenant general now with the Center for European Policy Analysis research institute.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
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