Newly-released satellite images are revealing the scope of Russia’s massive military buildup in Crimea and along the Ukrainian border.
The photos, captured by Maxar Technologies, appear to show tanks, missiles and troops in positions close to Ukrainian territory or within Russian-annexed Crimea. More than 125,000 Russian forces overall are believed to be in those areas.
“Troop tents and shelters for personnel have been seen at virtually every deployment location in Belarus, Crimea and western Russia, which suggests that the units are now accompanied by troops and have increased their overall readiness level,” a spokesperson for the company told Sky News.
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“Over the past couple of months, military equipment/units have been deployed at or near a number of garrisons and to existing military training areas within Russia and Crimea and adjacent to the border with Ukraine,” he added.
Some of the images were released on the same day Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that a “full-scale war” could break out if Russia invades his country.
“Nobody needs a war. But we do not invite anyone with weapons to our land,” Zelenskyy said Tuesday after meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “I can say for sure that the state has changed, society and the army have changed. And now there will be no occupation of any city or territory. And there will be, unfortunately, a tragedy if the escalation against our state begins.
“That is why I openly say: this will not be a war between Ukraine and Russia — this will be a war in Europe,” he continued. “Full-scale war, because no one will give up their territories and people anymore.”