New Russian military deployments near Ukraine, satellite images show

Russia denies any attack plans.

Moscow:

Commercial satellite images released by a private US company show new Russian military deployments in several locations near Ukraine, suggesting Moscow’s buildup of forces is continuing amid a flurry of diplomacy aimed at easing the crisis.

Russia is holding joint military exercises in former Soviet Belarus as well as naval drills in the Black Sea, amid a spike in military activity near Ukraine that has fueled fears of an impending invasion. Russia denies any attack plans.

US-based Maxar Technologies, which has been tracking the buildup of Russian forces for weeks, said images taken on Wednesday and Thursday showed significant new deployments in several locations in annexed Crimea, western Russia and the Belarus.

The images could not be independently verified by Reuters.

In Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, Maxar said it identified a large new deployment of troops and equipment at Oktyabrskoye airfield north of the city of Simferopol, including 550 troop tents and hundreds of vehicles.

New troops and equipment have also arrived near Novoozernoye in Crimea, he added, also highlighting a new deployment near the town of Slavne on the northwest coast of the peninsula.

In Belarus, the site of major joint exercises, Maxar said it had identified a new deployment of troops, military vehicles and helicopters at Zyabrovka airfield near Gomel, less than 25 km from the border with Ukraine. .

In an emailed statement on Thursday evening, he said a large deployment of troops and forces had recently arrived at the Kursk training area in western Russia, about 110 km east of Russia. east of the Ukrainian border.

Russia has not disclosed how many troops it has deployed and says it has the right to move its forces around its territory as it sees fit. He insists that they pose no outside threat.

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Christi C. Elwood