President Obama denounced Russia's "brute force" in Ukraine during a speech in Brussels today, but it seems from the images and clips below that Russia cares little for words and is more about strategic actions for now. Russia now, reportedly, controls 51 Ukraine Navy ships and while Merkel is talking tough, she is careful not to be too aggressive in her call for escalation. Talking of escalation, Russia tanks were being moved en masse across the nation to various borders.
Russian Forces Control 51 Ukraine Navy Ships in Crimea: Embassy
Ukraine retains 10 ships in Crimea, Ukrainian Embassy in Russia says in e-mailed newsletter.
But social media is flooded today with fresh pictures, videos, and reports of Russian tanks and troops on the move towards the Ukrainian border.
After the annexation of Crimea, however, there was a military deescalation. Sources told us that the Russian troops were in position, but were no longer on the move in large numbers, and were not yet massed in large enough numbers that an invasion would be possible. Earlier this week, however, NATO began to once again raise the alarm that Russian forces were gathering to potentially invade Ukraine, or even move on to Moldova. Today, there are reports that Russian troops are indeed on the move near Ukraine’s borders.
There is another key difference. Much of the equipment spotted on the move today are not just troop transports and APCs. What we are seeing is reports of main battle tanks, support equipment, and other heavy weaponry. If Russia was not ready to invade two weeks ago, could these reinforcements be enough for an invasion?
Russian Tanks near the Ukrainian border
And MPCs on the roads
Furthermore, on the bypass road near Belgorod, more than 25 Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters have been spotted
Julia Karmo of Sky News Broadcasting has geolocated this video, which was taken yesterday in Novozybkov, in the Bryansk region of Russia. Karmo notes that the trains are on tracks that lead to towards Belarus or towards Ukraine.
and Somova, north-northeast from Voronezh
But the good news is that Gazprom...
- *NAFTOGAZ UKRAINY SAYS GAS DEBT TO GAZPROM IS $1.7B: KOBOLYEV
might finally get paid
- *UKRAINE-IMF ANNOUNCEMENT 'MOST LIKELY' TOMORROW, LAPPO SAYS
And while Merkel is talking tough
- *MERKEL SAYS RUSSIA RISKS 'TOUGH RESPONSE' IF CRISIS ESCALATES
She is also backing away...
- *MERKEL SAYS SHE HOPES TO AVOID ESCALATION OF SANCTIONS
Leaving Obama to do the talking...
President Obama offered a sustained and forceful rejoinder against Russia on Wednesday, denouncing the “brute force” he said it has used to intimidate neighbors like Ukraine and vowing that the United States “will never waver” in standing up for its NATO allies against aggression by Moscow.
And after all that, this is happening...