Eyes on Russia: Report #3
Despite public claims that Russian forces would return to their bases, the Kremlin's military build-up has increased.
Military equipment has been observed leaving larger bases and spreading out to newly set up, smaller bases in fields along the border in Kursk and Belgorod Oblasts. The geolocated military hardware is all fully loaded and painted with new camouflage.
The Russian-Belarussian military exercise has been extended indefinitely. Russian forces are still arriving in Southern Belarus and are now moving closer to the border with Ukraine.
Overall, footage indicates that Russian forces in Belarus, Russia, and annexed Crimea are moving closer to the Ukrainian border and into battle positions.
Over the past week, as Russian proxies in the DNR and LNR have evacuated some women and children due to an alleged threat of a Ukrainian offensive into the territory, several incidents have been reported that suggest the Russian Federation and its proxies are attempting to create the pretext for military action in Ukraine based on the narrative of “Ukrainian aggression.”
In Russian language media, CIR observed an increase in discussion of alleged “Ukrainian aggression” as the Russian Federation and its proxies in the DNR and LNR attempt to create a pretext for Russian military action on Ukrainian territory and the formal recognition of the “separatist” governments in these regions.
On the 21st February, President Putin ordered troops into the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics”, after recognising them as independent states. Over the coming days, CIR will continue to monitor the deployment of Russian military assets into Ukraine.
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