Newly released satellite images have captured fresh movement by Russian forces near the Ukrainian border, as Western fears continue to grow that an invasion by Moscow is imminent.
The images made public Sunday by Maxar Technologies show new field deployments of armored equipment and troops around military garrisons in Russian border towns.
“This new activity represents a change in the pattern of the previously observed deployments of battle groups (tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery and support equipment),” Maxar said in a statement.
Several large deployments of battle groups had been seen near a garrison in Soloti — about 30 miles from the Ukraine border — around Feb. 13, according to the firm.
The latest images appear to show that most of the combat units and equipment had since been relocated, though Maxar did not indicate where they had gone.
Some equipment has also been deployed in a field near the town of Valuyki, which is about 9 miles north of the Ukrainian border.
The company also noted the presence of extensive vehicle tracks in the snow and convoys of armored equipment in the region, as well as a number of new field deployments in the Russian city of Belgorod, about 25 miles from the frontier.
Stephen Wood, senior director at Maxar’s News Bureau told Reuters Sunday that the latest images indicate “an increased state of readiness” on the part of the Russian military.
Russia continues to deny it has plans to attack Ukraine — even though US officials estimate it has massed about 190,000 troops on three sides of the former Soviet republics in recent weeks.
Shelling incidents have spiked in war-torn eastern Ukraine over recent days, with the Kyiv government accusing Russia of attempting to provoke a response that would lead to invasion.
The Biden administration has repeatedly warned that a Russian attack could come at any time, with national security adviser Jake Sullivan telling NBC’s “Today” show Monday that invasion could happen “in the coming hours or days.”
With Post wires