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Despite Russia's claims of troop withdrawal, satellite images show a new bridge near Ukraine
Despite Russia's claims of troop withdrawal, satellite images show a new bridge near Ukraine

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Despite Russia’s claims of troop withdrawal, satellite images show a new bridge near Ukraine

Despite Russia’s claims of troop withdrawal, satellite images show a new bridge near Ukraine.

Despite claims of troop withdrawal, new satellite imagery provided by space firm Maxar technologies indicates that Russia continues to maintain a significant military build-up near the Ukraine border.

Only six kilometers from the Belarus-Ukraine border, Russia has built a new temporary bridge across the Pripyat River. The bridge is strategically important because it bridges the gap between Russia’s already deployed forces and Ukraine.

« That’s what Russia says, » says the narrator. Then there’s Russia’s behavior. In an interview, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, « We haven’t seen any pullback of its forces. » He told MSNBC, « We continue to see critical units moving toward the border, not away from the border. » Russia had previously released videos purporting to show tanks and military vehicles returning to their permanent bases.

Despite Russia's claims of troop withdrawal, satellite images show a new bridge near Ukraine
Despite Russia’s claims of troop withdrawal, satellite images show a new bridge near Ukraine

On February 15, a new formation of attack helicopters was seen on satellite imagery at a forward location in Belarus called Zyabrovka, despite the ground troops appearing to have departed. At least 18 helicopters, possibly including Mi-8 and Ka-52 helicopters, make up the new attack helicopter unit seen at Zyabrovka airfield.While ground troops seem to have moved from a few locations, there is hardly any evidence to prove that those are backward movements.

Despite claims of withdrawal, the US warned on Thursday that Russia had added up to 7,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders. According to previous estimates, Russia had amassed over 150,000 troops in Ukraine’s east, north, and south.

Despite Russia's claims of troop withdrawal, satellite images show a new bridge near Ukraine
Despite Russia’s claims of troop withdrawal, satellite images show a new bridge near Ukraine

Other areas in Belarus near the Ukraine border, such as Brest and Osipovichi, continue to see troop build-ups, while Rechitsa has seen significant movement. Armoured vehicles and self-propelled artillery units can be seen in the Brestsky training area near Brest in satellite imagery taken on February 16. A few more troops were also seen at the Brest railyard.

The governments of Western countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, claim that troops have been moving towards the Ukraine border rather than away from it. Military convoys were also seen moving west from Rechitsa, Belarus, according to satellite images collected on Wednesday.

Ground troops and equipment remained stationed along the Crimean bay of Lake Donuzlav.

Despite Russia's claims of troop withdrawal, satellite images show a new bridge near Ukraine
Despite Russia’s claims of troop withdrawal, satellite images show a new bridge near Ukraine

Troops and equipment are still stationed in the Novoozernoye area of Crimea, according to Maxar imagery collected on February 15. Artillery units and tents were seen in a field near the Novoozernoye garrison.

Maxar analysts also took a picture of a field hospital in Osipovichi, where troops, military equipment, and training activities were visible.

Artillery units continued to drill along the Black Sea coast, with groups of equipment and convoy formations visible in satellite images over the Opuk training area.

Several armored vehicles were seen at the Yevpatoria railyard in Western Crimea, while others were seen in convoy formation at a nearby airfield.

Despite Russia's claims of troop withdrawal, satellite images show a new bridge near Ukraine
Despite Russia’s claims of troop withdrawal, satellite images show a new bridge near Ukraine

On Wednesday, Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that Russia shows no signs of de-escalation. He also said NATO countries were considering forming new small battle groups in central and eastern Europe.

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