Eyes On Russia Project: Latest developments
CIR has identified and verified significant Russian military movements in Belarus, western Russia, and annexed Crimea. While Russia maintains it has no plans to invade Ukraine and that the observed movements are simply part of planned military exercises, several items continue to suggest these developments are far from ordinary:
The continued build-up of new military camps at the Russian border with Ukraine and the build-up of several military field hospitals in different areas of Belarus and Crimea, as well as stationing large amounts of Russian helicopters 30 kilometres from the border with Ukraine.
Eleven large Russian Navy landing ships, six of which arrived from the Northern and the fleets, were seen moving through the Bosporus on the 8th of February, along with an additional three cruiser strike groups, centred around three Slava class missile cruisers.
Additionally, the Conflict Intelligence Team has identified Russian submarines moving along the strait. This naval movement would allow elements of the 810th Separate Naval Infantry Brigade from the Black Sea Fleet and the 336th Separate Guards Naval Infantry Brigade of the Baltic Fleet to attempt an amphibious landing around either Odessa on the Black Sea or Mariupol on the Azov Sea in the case of a Russian invasion.
Despite assurances of the Russian military returning to its home bases, there has been no evidence confirming such claims. ‘Russia Today’ footage claiming to show troops moving away from the border were geolocated to Bakhchisaray train station, Crimea (180 KM from mainland Ukraine), indicating these troops had not been close to the border with Ukraine.
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