The tensions between Russia and Ukraine are at an all time high, as Russia has now amassed nearly 80,000 troops on the Ukrainian border according to new satellite imagery.
Russia has also moved warplanes to Crimea and bases near Ukraine to an extent greater than even had been previously disclosed, adding to its capability for political intimidation or military intervention.
The photos were reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, and they show Su-30 fighters lined up on a runway at an air base in Crimea.
These same aircraft, which are shown in a new satellite photo provided on April 16, weren’t there in March.
Other Russian military units on the Crimean peninsula include airborne troops, motorized rifle and armored units, attack helicopters, smoke generators, reconnaissance drones, jamming equipment and a military hospital.
The mass of forces along with stationing of the Su-34, Su-30, Su-27, Su-25, and Su-24 aircraft in the regions, have more than strengenthed Moscow’s political leverage to coerce Ukraine, a current and former official have stated.
“They have appropriately deployed the various elements of airpower that would be needed to establish air superiority over the battlefield and directly support the ground troops,” said Philip Breedlove, a retired U.S. Air Force general who served as the top NATO military commander when Russian forces seized Crimea and intervened in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns showed a similar assessment to congress last week, showing that Russian deployments might be intended to intimidate the Ukrainian government and send a message to the Biden Administration.
“That buildup has reached the point where, you know, it could also provide the basis for a limited military incursion as well,” Mr. Burns told the Senate Intelligence Committee. “So it’s something not only the United States, but also our allies have to take very seriously.”
This is a concerting situation to America as the Biden Administration is far weaker in foreign policy than the Trump adminstration was.
You can read more from our friends at the WSJ.