Ukraine-Russia border: Satellite images reveal Putin's troop build-up continues

Ukraine-Russia border: Satellite images reveal Putin's troop build-up continues
Ukraine-Russia border: Satellite images reveal Putin's troop build-up continues

Satellite images have revealed huge new camps of Russian troops, tanks and artillery near the Ukrainian border as Vladimir Putin continues massing his forces on Europe's doorstep amid warnings he could invade within weeks. 

Newly-published images document at least three camps housing seven battalions of troops near at Yelnya and Pogonovo, between 100 and 150 miles from the border, which analysts say have arrived in the last month.

More images taken from Russian-occupied Crimea shows what appears to be dozens of tanks and artillery pieces parked on a base at Novoozerne, around 80 miles from the border, which have also arrived in recent weeks.

The pictures were released off the back of a leaked US intelligence report that warned there are now 50 Russian battalions at the border with another 50 being rapidly assembled in reserve, meaning Putin will be ready to launch an invasion using up to 175,000 soldiers some time early next year. 

Russia now has 50 battalions comprising up to 94,000 troops stationed on the Ukrainian border with another 80,000 - 100,000 sitting in reserve and will be ready to invade within weeks, the US has warned

Russia now has 50 battalions comprising up to 94,000 troops stationed on the Ukrainian border with another 80,000 - 100,000 sitting in reserve and will be ready to invade within weeks, the US has warned

A camp containing five battalions of Russian troops is pictured near Yelna, 150 miles from Ukraine's border, within the last month as US intelligence warns Putin now has 50 battalions camped out on Europe's doorstep

A camp containing five battalions of Russian troops is pictured near Yelna, 150 miles from Ukraine's border, within the last month as US intelligence warns Putin now has 50 battalions camped out on Europe's doorstep 

Another view of the newly-built Russian military camp near Yelna, as US intelligence claims that Putin will be ready to invade Ukraine with an army of 175,000 men within weeks

Another view of the newly-built Russian military camp near Yelna, as US intelligence claims that Putin will be ready to invade Ukraine with an army of 175,000 men within weeks

Tensions along Europe's eastern border have been simmering since Putin annexed Crimea back in 2014, and have been threatening to boil over ever since Moscow began massing forces in the region starting in April this year.

That month, up to 100,000 troops were moved to the border in the largest show-of-force by Russia since Crimea was annexed - but analysts say the current build-up eclipses even that.

'The Russian plans call for a military offensive against Ukraine as soon as early 2022 with a scale of forces twice what we saw this past spring during Russia's snap exercise near Ukraine's borders,' a White House source told the Washington Post this weekend as the intelligence briefing leaked.

'The plans involve extensive movement of 100 battalion tactical groups with an estimated 175,000 personnel, along with armor, artillery and equipment.'  

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken last week made a tour of European allies to shore up support for Ukraine in the event it is attacked, with Ukrainian defence minister Oleksii Reznikov calling for more NATO troops - including British units - to be stationed in visible positions near the frontlines as a deterrent to Russia.

Meanwhile Joe Biden is due to hold a phone call with President Putin this week to try and defuse the situation, with Biden saying last week that he was preparing a 'package' of measures including sanctions to make it 'very hard' for the Russian leader to go through with any invasion.

EU and NATO allies have given their full backing to Biden to take a tougher stance against Putin after weeks of top-level intelligence sharing convinced leaders a Russian invasion is possible, the FT reported at the weekend. 

The Kremlin on Monday described the state of U.S.-Russia relations as 'lamentable', with spokesperson Dmitry Peskov saying that NATO and long-term guarantees of Russia's security from the West will be in focus on the call.

Russia has been pressing western nations to give binding guarantees that Ukraine will not become a NATO member as Moscow tries to prevent the military alliance advancing closer to its border.

The Kremlin has also hit out at what it calls Western 'aggression' in the Black Sea close to Crimea, and increased bomber patrols which it says are straying ever-closer to its borders.

It comes against the backdrop of a global arms race that has seen the US, China and Russia racing to bulk up their forces and deploy new technologies as the post-Cold War balance of power dramatically shifts.

One battalion of Russian troops is pictured camped at Pogonovo, near the Russian city of Voronezh, which intelligence sources say has arrived in the region within the last month

One battalion of Russian troops is pictured camped at Pogonovo, near the Russian city of Voronezh, which intelligence sources say has arrived in the region within the last month

A second newly-arrived battalion of Russian troops is seen camped at Pogonovo, near Voronezh, which is around 100 miles from the Ukrainian border

A second newly-arrived battalion of Russian troops is seen camped at Pogonovo, near Voronezh, which is

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