Analysts: Russia deploying equipment on EU border under the cover of Zapad 2017 military exercise

Since the start of August 2017, large-scale deployment of Russian military equipment has been observed along all lines of the European border with Russia.

This is the finding of an OSINT investigation by the international investigative community InformNapalm, Ukrinform reports.

By monitoring social networks and analyzing photographs, InformNapalm volunteers established that since the start of August 2017, “large-scale deployment of Russian military equipment has begun along all lines of the European border with Russia: from the shores of the Baltic Sea in Saint Petersburg to the shores of the Black Sea, including occupied Ukrainian Crimea”.

Attention is also given to the historical antecedents, specifically the July exercises of the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces “Kavkaz 2008” which preceded Russia’s aggression against Georgia in August 2008.
InformNapalm volunteers presented a number of photos and video materials depicting the large-scale deployment of Russian military equipment.

Likewise, on August 2, a portion of the Russian military equipment was documented at the Liski railway station (Voronezh province); on August 3, at the Neklinovka railway station (Neklinov region of the Rostov province); on August 3, at the Sergiev Posad station (Moscow province); on August 5, at the Krasnodar-1 station (Krasnodar Krai); on August 7, at the Zimovniki station (Rostov province); on August 7 at the station in Samara; on August 7, a column of military equipment in Saint Petersburg; on August 7, a portion of the military equipment while moving across the dam of the Volga Hydroelectric station in the Volgograd province; on August 7, the movement of military equipment in occupied Crimea; on August 8, a portion of the military equipment at the Nerekhta station (Kostroma province); on August 8 – at the Rossosh station (Voronezh province).

“The preparation of new railway line routes can be considered another indirect sign of the non-educational goals of the equipment transfer. For example, in 2008, two months before the start of the invasion into Georgia, Russia began urgently laying new railway lines to the Georgian border,” InformNapalm observed.

On August 7, 2017, Russian media reported that the railway line to the south of Russia which has been constructed in the immediate vicinity of the Ukrainian border had effectively become operational.

“In order to restrain Russian aggression against Ukraine, there is an urgent need for modern defensive weaponry which is capable of effectively opposing the armored groups deployed along the entire Russian-Ukrainian border. The Zapad 2017 exercises could become the stage of the occupation and the drawing in of Belarus into the armed conflict,” the investigation states.

“It is possible that the massive transfer of Russian heavily armored equipment to the Ukrainian border was the reason for the Pentagon’s recent recommendations to the White House to provide Ukraine with anti-tank and anti-air weaponry to improve its defensive capabilities and the prevention of a future invasion,” it adds.

  Zapad 2017, Russian military equipment, Russia, EU