Russia reportedly adds more tanks, troops at Ukraine border

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Russia reportedly adds more tanks, troops at Ukraine border

Russia continues to bolster its forces along the Ukrainian border, adding hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles even as President Vladimir Putin demands security guarantees from the United States, according to a report.​

Reuters reported Friday that new satellite images ​from US-based Maxar Technologies show an increased buildup of forces in Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.​

Russia began sending forces and heavy military equipment to its western border with Ukraine in April and has amassed as many as 175,000 troops, an escalation that the US believes is an indication of an imminent invasion.

​​The images Maxar released Thursday show a base in Crimea filled with armored vehicles and tanks as of Dec. 13, according to Reuters.​

The same base was half-empty in images taken in October.

​Maxar said the equipment at the garrison includes armored vehicles, tanks, self-propelled artillery and air defense systems. 

A satellite image shows a garrison before a Russian brigade-level unit deployment in Bakhchysarai, Crimea on October 7, 2021.
A satellite image shows a garrison before a Russian brigade-level unit deployment in Bakhchysarai, Crimea on October 7, 2021.
Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov repeated to reporters on Friday that the buildup of troops was needed to defend Russia against the US and its allies.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov repeated to reporters on Friday that the buildup of troops was needed to defend Russia against the US and its allies.
Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS

​”Over the past month, our high-resolution satellite imagery has observed a number of new Russian deployments in Crimea as well as in several training areas in western Russia along the periphery of the Ukraine border,” it said in a statement.

Maxar also noted increased activity at three locations in Crimea and five in Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov repeated to reporters on Friday that the buildup of troops was needed to defend Russia against the US and its allies. 

Russia continues to bolster its forces along the Ukrainian border, adding hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles
Russia continues to bolster its forces along the Ukrainian border, adding hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles.
Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS

​”Russia is moving its own troops around on its own territory against the backdrop of highly unfriendly actions by our opponents in NATO, the United States and various European countries who are carrying out highly unambiguous maneuvers near our borders,” Peskov said.

Putin demanded Thursday that the US and its allies provide guarantees that NATO will not expand any deeper into eastern Europe — including Ukraine — and will not deploy missile systems near Russia. 

The Russian leader was asked about whether he intended to invade his neighbor and an end-of-the-year news conference on Thursday.

Russian armored units training in Pogonovo Training Area near Voronezh, Russia.
A satellite image shows Russian armored units training in Pogonovo Training Area near Voronezh, Russia.
Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS

“It’s you who must give us guarantees and give them immediately, now, and not have idle talk about it for decades,” he snapped.

The Kremlin on Friday said it expects the US to answer its security guarantee request by next month. 

“To discuss de-escalation, we expect our opponents in Washington to provide specific answers to our proposals in January,” Peskov said.

The movement of Russian forces comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin sought reassurances that NATO would not push forces closer to Russia.
The movement of Russian forces comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin sought reassurances that NATO would not push forces closer to Russia.
Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS

A senior Biden administration official said Thursday that the White House informed Russia that they are prepared to meet in January, but that the date and location of discussions have yet to be confirmed.

“I expect we will have our substantive response in those talks,” the official said, adding: “Clearly there are some things that have been proposed that we will never agree to, and I think the Russians probably know that on some level, and I think there are other areas where we may be able to explore what’s possible.”

Meanwhile, Russia announced the successful test-firing of another hypersonic missile following launches in October and July. 

With Post wires

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