December 06, 2021

Satellite Images Show the Buildup of Russian Forces Near Ukraine That Have the US and NATO Worried About an Invasion

Featuring Jeffrey Edmonds, Michael Kofman, and Jim Townsend

Source: Business Insider

Journalist Ryan Pickrell

New satellite photos show the buildup of Russian armed forces at strategic locations in western Russia near the Ukrainian border and at one spot in Crimea amid concerns that Russia will invade its neighbor in the near future.

The images, which Insider obtained from Maxar Technologies, show a number of Russian tactical battle groups, including both personnel and equipment, such as tanks, artillery, and armored troop carriers, deployed to the Pogonovo training area and Yelnya in Russia and Novoozernoye in Crimea in November.

After snap drills in the spring near Ukraine triggered a few alarms, tensions de-escalated for a time. But alarm bells began ringing again when a significant number of Russian troops were observed gathering a couple hundred miles from Ukraine's border early last month.

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"I would not downplay this," Jeffrey Edmonds, a former CIA military analyst and Russia expert at CNA, told Insider at the time. "The troop buildup is pretty significant."

"I think you always have to assume it's a real possibility," Jim Townsend, a former Pentagon and NATO official and security expert at the Center for New American Security, said.

And in a podcast discussion last month, Michael Kofman, the Research Program Director for the Russia Studies Program at CNA, said he doesn't "think there is going to be a Russian military operation in the coming days and weeks," but added that he is "very worried looking into the coming months and toward this winter."

Read the full story and more from Business Insider.

Authors

  • Jeffrey Edmonds

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Jeffrey Edmonds is an expert on US national security, especially as it relates to Russia. He works full time for CNA's Russia Studies Program. His research focuses on the Russ...

  • Michael Kofman

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Michael Kofman serves as a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses' Russia Studies Program, and a Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Internation...

  • Jim Townsend

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    James Joye Townsend Jr. is an adjunct senior fellow in the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program. After eight years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for European ...