Prague announces expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats
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Moscow has moved thousands of troops to the Eastern border of Ukraine and into Crimea in response to tensions between Russian-backed separatists and Kyiv’s military. Now, satellite images show a massive Russia military camp has been established in the east of the Crimean peninsula.
German newspaper Der Spiegel posted photos from Planet Labs Inc which show a new Russian camp around 30km from Marfivka in east Crimea.
They report the camp is some 280km by road from Ukrainian territories, and shows elements of Russia’s 58th army.
Russian researchers have already noted units from the 58th Army have arrived in Crimea, including the 291st Artillery and the 136th Motorized brigades.
Reports hold the area was empty on March 15, with vehicles and structures gradually being built up to April 2.
Ruslan Leviev, an open source analyst with Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), located the photos of the new Russian camp.
Speaking to Der Spiegel, he warned of the “greatest concentration of Russian armed forces since 2014 and 2015″ near the Ukrainian border and calls the relocation of troops a show of force by Russia.
Last week, Moscow built another provisional base near the metropolis of Voronezh in southwest Russia.
The Independent reported CIT located the camp through satellite images, and have found how Moscow troops have offloaded heavy weapons from nearby train stations.
It comes after Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu admitted the country is mobilising troops at Ukraine’s border.
But he insisted the unannounced military activity was a response to the “threatening military activity of NATO (…) especially in Poland and in the Baltic states.”
The minister also stated the military exercises are due to come to an end in two weeks.
NATO has blasted Russia and demanded they call off the “largest massing of Russian troops since the annexation of Crimea” in 2014.
The UK will also send warships to the Black Sea in May in a bid to show solidarity with NATO and Ukraine.
Senior naval sources told the Sunday Times the UK will send one Type 45 destroyer armed with anti-aircraft missiles and an anti-submarine Type 23 frigate.
They will leave the Royal Navy’s carrier task group in the Mediterranean and head through the Bosphorus into the Black Sea.
RAF F-35B Lightning stealth jets and Merlin submarine-hunting helicopters will stand ready on the task group’s flag ship, the carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, to support the warships in the Black Sea should they be needed.
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