NATO accuses Russia to have made a military build up near the Ukrainian border and proved it with some satellite images taken between late march and early april.
Russian officials denied the accusations and said that these images were manipulated. They said that the images were from August 2013, and that they depict an exercise conducted at that time.
NATO said that these claims are “false” and answered releasing additional satellite images showing the same areas unoccupied prior to March 2014. “There is no evidence of any military activity in these areas in 2013 or early 2014.” According to the images “it is clear that the military build-up of forces occurred in early March 2014,” says NATO in a statement. The statement reminds that the images are unclassified and commercially available.
NATO “stands firm in its assessment that Russian forces in the vicinity of the border with Ukraine number in the range of 35,000 to 40,000 troops and are equipped with infantry fighting vehicles, tanks, combat aircraft, logistics, and artillery. These forces are destabilizing to the region, which is why the North Atlantic Council has repeatedly called upon Russia to de-escalate the situation by withdrawing troops from the border with Ukraine”, according to the statement.