According to a video footage doing the rounds on social media, Russia is loading military equipment in huge trains towards the Ukrainian border, lending grounds to fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Videos shared on social media show train-laden anti-aircraft missile systems with medium-range Buk-M1, 9S18M1 Kupol acquisition radars, tanks, and artillery, moving towards the Ukrainian border.
The video was recorded on December 6th.
The video shows a well-known strategy used by Moscow during the invasion of Crimea – identification numbers of the Buk-M1 anti-aircraft missile systems have been painted concealed. Identification numbers for some artillery cannons and tanks have also been hidden with paint.
Another video posted on social media shows anti-aircraft missile systems, radars, A39M1 transport-assembly-launchers, TELARs, reloading vehicles, rocket transporters 9T229 of KrAZ -225 chassis, transport containers for missiles being transported by train towards the Russia-Ukraine border.
The same video footage also shows T-80U tanks and Msta-C self-propelled howitzers being transported towards the border.
Both videos have been shared on Telegram.
Following an analysis by the Conflict Intelligence Team known as CIT in order to ascertain the authenticity of the video, it was found:
- Parts of the 4th Guards Panzer Division, the 288th Artillery Brigade, and the 49th Air Defense Missile Brigade are moving to Ukraine, all of which are part of the 1st Guards Panzer Army.
- Train compositions with Russian military equipment come from Naro-Fominsk in the Moscow region, Ilin in the Nizhny Novgorod region, and Krasnyi Bor in the Smolensk region.
- While the movement of tanks in this part of Russia bordering Ukraine is not new, the presence of air defense systems however is worrying. The presence of the S-300 air defense system is also established in one of the videos.
According to field sources, Moscow either has deployed or will deploy around 175,000 troops in the areas bordering Ukrainian. Ukraine has claimed that Russia has deployed 100,000 soldiers.
Countries including Britain and the United States have publicly warned Russia to not invade Ukraine. Preliminary intelligence reports suggest that this could happen in early 2022.
Concerns of a potential invasion of Ukraine by Russia have been building for weeks; Russia has been in conflict with Ukraine ever since 2014 when it launched an operation to seize the Crimean peninsula before deploying separatist capabilities
Britain’s Chief of the Defense Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, has warned that a full-scale invasion of Ukraine “would be on a scale not seen in Europe since World War Two.”