New Russian military buildup near Ukraine shown by satellite images

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Vaibhav Agrawal
Vaibhav Agrawal
Vaibhav Agrawal is the founder editor of Bhraman (a Digital Travelogue). As an independent journalist, he is passionate for investigating and reporting on complex subjects. He has an extensive background in both print and digital media, with a focus on Travel and Defence reporting. *Views are personal

Russia was seen massing troops along with military equipment on the border with Ukraine after a major buildup this spring, as the recent commercial satellite photos that were captured on Monday confirms the report.

According to a report released by Politico, a buildup of self-propelled artillery, armoured units, tanks along with ground troops were shown massing near Yelnya which is close to the border of Belarus. These images were captured by Maxar Technologies. The elite 1st Guards Tank Army is included in the unit which commenced moving from other areas of Russia in late September where they are usually based.

Jane’s Analysis Report

As per an analysis conducted by a source reveals that close to Ukraine’s northern border, equipment coming from Russia’s 4th Tank Division has been moved to areas around Bryansk and Kursk while self-propelled artillery and T-80U main battle tanks are equipped by the units.

While the army has been particularly designed for facilitating the conduction of operations at every level of combat from counterinsurgency to mechanized warfare, the elements of the army were evidently spotted in the area, the report further added. Also seen as the primary formation for the testing of new equipment and tactics, It is usually the first to receive the latest equipment.

A clear deviation from the 1st Guards Tank Army’s standard training pattern was marked by the deployment, normally this takes place around Moscow. 

Stressed Situations

As the Russian President has bristled at fresh talk of Ukraine and Georgia possibly joining NATO, over the past several months, tensions have been increasing between Moscow and the West. 

On Saturday, the Washington Post was the first one to report on the troop buildup. Although the satellite photographs were not published, the story surely referred to them. Ukraine’s defence ministry denying the Post report was later quoted by Reuters. Ukraine’s defence ministry denied by saying that the transfer of more Russian equipment, weapons and soldiers to Ukraine’s border as of Monday, was not recorded.

As tensions continue to percolate between Kyiv and the Kremlin, the pictures come in the scenario. Concerns were caused in Ukraine’s capital and Washington due to a buildup of Russian troops at Ukraine’s border this spring. a package of lethal aid was put together by the administration for the country but then, as a meeting between the American and Russian Presidents neared, chose not to send it.

Although one can say that later, some of those Russian forces would possibly return to their bases but much of their equipment was left behind in staging areas while another in a long history of surges and retreats along the Ukrainian border.

The Biden administration shall continue to monitor the situation closely, as said by the White House national security adviser. 

In a diplomatic confrontation with NATO, Russia has also been locked now. The alliance expelled eight Russian diplomats it labelled as spies, in the weeks before the annual NATO defence ministers’ conference last month while on the other hand, the entire NATO mission of Russia was voluntarily shut down by the nation as a response. 

A side tale

With the above said, according to the draft of the national budget, over the next three years, Russia is planning to gradually increase spending on its nuclear weapons capabilities.

In order to replace its Soviet-era strategic weapons, The funding proposal to upgrade Russia’s nuclear arsenal comes as the military awaits new hypersonic missiles.

An approximated cost of over 3.5 trillion roubles would be spent by the nation in 2022-2023, under the proposal while 3.8 trillion roubles would be spent in 2024.

According to an official, for the nuclear-armed complex, 49 billion roubles will be allocated on an annual basis from 2022-2023 while the figure for 2024 will be about 56 billion roubles and upgrading the nuclear arsenal remains a priority for the Kremlin. 

It was earlier said by the commander of Russia’s strategic force that the nation seeks to replace its Soviet-era missile systems by 2024. The increase of payment to soldiers serving under contract is among other spending priorities. In 2022, the additional spending will gradually increase from 28.4 billion roubles to 44.4 billion in 2023 which is estimated to drop to 1.8 billion roubles starting in 2024.

In the Russian military, there were more than around 405,000 soldiers serving under the contract as said by an official which is nearly half of all service members.


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