NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) defended the veracity of the images it released in a statement today. As further proof that the satellite pictures are accurate, SHAPE released a series of comparative before-and-after images showing the massive extent of the Russian military buildup by the Ukrainian border.
General Phil Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, believes that these photos show that Russia could very well be planning an invasion of Ukraine.
AndersFogh Rasmussen, the Secretary General of Nato, also believes that the military buildup is not simply a training exercise, as Russia has previously declared. Instead, the 40,000 Russian troops are prepared for combat.
U.S. intelligence officers also believe that the chances of a Russian invasion of Ukraine are increasing as Russia has started building supply lines and battlefield hospitals — elements not needed for training — close to the border.
Below are the before and after satellite images of the Russian forces.
An empty field near Novocherkassk in May 2013 …
… is full of mechanised infantry and rifle regiments in March 2014.
An empty site near Belgorod on March 7, 2014 …
… is full of Russian mechanised infantry and rifle regiments on March 26, 2014.
An empty site in Kuzminka in October 2013 …
… has become massed with mechanised infantry and motorised rifle units on March 27, 2014.
A site at Yeysk in January 2014 …
… has massed Russian military units in March, 2014.
Buturlinovka air base in June 2013 before the military buildup …
… has significantly more activity in April 2014.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.