Photos show new Russian armor and troop deployments near Ukraine-Maksar

Photos show new Russian armor and troop deployments near Ukraine-Maksar

(Reuters) – A private US company said on Sunday that satellite imagery shows multiple new field deployments of armored equipment and troops from Russian garrisons near the border with Ukraine, in what its director said indicated increased military readiness.

The new activity comes as Russia expanded military exercises in Belarus that were due to end on Sunday, raising fears among Western powers of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine. Read more

Reuters was unable to verify the images released by the US-based Maxar Technologies, which has been tracking the buildup of Russian forces for weeks.

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“This new activity represents a change in the pattern of previously observed deployments of battle groups (tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery and support equipment),” Maksar said in a statement on Sunday.

Maksar said that several large deployments of combat groups have been observed around the military barracks in Solotti, Russia, as of February 13, according to satellite images.

Pictures on Sunday showed most combat units and support equipment leaving Soloti. The company said extensive tracks of vehicles and some convoys of armored equipment were seen throughout the area.

Some equipment has also been deployed east of neighboring Russia’s Walwicki in a field about 15 kilometers (9 miles) north of the Ukrainian border. Maksar said a number of new field deployments were also seen northwest of the Russian city of Belgorod.

Based on the trails and snow, the activity appears to have been recent, Stephen Wood, senior manager at the Maxar news bureau told Reuters.

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“For me, that indicates an increased state of readiness,” he said.

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Michael Price and Costas Petsas report; Editing by Daniel Wallis

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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