As Russia has moved tens of thousands of troops toward its border with Ukraine in recent months, hinted of an armed response if NATO does not acquiesce to its demands, and announced large military exercises in Belarus, the sheer scale of its mobilization has been hard for Moscow to downplay or deny.
The reason: Unlike in decades past, experts say the surveillance tools available today make it impossible for a modern army to stage a major logistical operation without alerting the global community. And often, the alarm bells are rung by a network of dedicated sleuths who are first to unearth evidence on the ground.
The accuracy of information dug up by many independent sleuths and amplified by mainstream media allows such private analysts to be “roughly on the same page” as the U.S. intelligence community, said former CIA analyst Jeffrey Edmonds.
“It’s impressive how close someone can be on the outside,” Edmonds, now at the CNA Corp think-tank, told The Wall Street Journal earlier this month.
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