Maxar satellite records new field deployments of Russia armored vehicles and troops near Ukrainian border

21 February 2022, 01:33 PM

Satellite imagery shows numerous new field deployments of Russian armored vehicles and troops near the border with Ukraine, according to U.S.-based Earth observation company Maxar Technologies, reports Reuters.

According to Stephen Wood, a senior director at the Maxar News Bureau, this “indicates an increased state of readiness.”

Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS
Photo: Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS

The new moves come as Russia extended military exercises in Belarus that were due to end on Sunday, Feb. 20, heightening fears of a further Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Reuters warned that they could not verify the images published by Maxar, which has been monitoring the buildup of Russian forces for several weeks.

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"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)," the company stated in a press release published on Feb. 21.

As of Feb. 13, several large battlegroup deployments were observed around the military garrison in Soloti, Russia, according to satellite imagery. Images taken on Sunday, Feb. 20 showed that most of the combat units and support equipment were gone. The company said extensive vehicle tracks and several columns of armored vehicles were seen throughout the area.

Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS
Photo: Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS

Some equipment has also been deployed east of nearby Valuyki, Russia, in a field about 15 km north of the Ukrainian border. There are also a number of new field deployments northwest of the Russian city of Belgorod, according to Maxar.

Judging by the tracks and the snow, the activity was recent, Wood told Reuters.

The U.S. ambassador to the OSCE, Michael Carpenter, said on Feb. 21 that Russia has arrayed between 169,000 and 190,000 troops on the Russian-Ukrainian and Belarusian-Ukrainian border, and in the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and the Donbas.

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