The Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) reported that on January 24, a video was published on TikTok showing Russian military equipment transported by rail in the Bryansk region (Russia), which borders Belarus and Ukraine.
The armored vehicles in the video are covered with a tarpaulin, but researcher Robert E. Lee managed to identify the BMD-4M amphibious infantry vehicles and the BTR-MDM fully-amphibious armoured personnel carrier. In total, the train carries 31 BMD-4M and 8 BTR-MDM, which corresponds to one battalion.
The train has 5 passenger cars which can accommodate more than 250 people. The CIT researchers noted that they counted 8 shortened two-axle KAMAZ-43501 trucks on the train platforms which are usually used by the Airborne Forces.
According to the Russian Railways database, the train is on its way from the Tekstilny station in the Ivanovo region, where the 217th Guards Parachute Regiment of the 98th Airborne Division is stationed. Recently, it took part in the operation of Collective Security Treaty Organization forces in Kazakhstan. The CIT analysts emphasized that this is the first confirmed video showing the deployment of Russian paratroopers closer to the border with Ukraine.
"In any large-scale offensive on the territory of Ukraine, the Airborne Forces must play a decisive role: either in an amphibious operation to capture strategic facilities in the rear, or as assault infantry. This is how Russian and Ukrainian airborne units were used in the "hot phase" of the war in eastern Ukraine," the CIT said.
The CIT analysts emphasized that the deployment of paratroopers looks especially threatening due to the fact that in recent days Russia has been increasing the number of it troops in the south of the Bryansk region and in Belarus (in the south of the Gomel region north of Kyiv). The CIT added that they consider an offensive from the territory of Belarus and / or the Bryansk region in the direction of Kyiv as at least one of the possible scenarios of Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier, it was reported that Russia set up a military camp and deployed multiple rocket launcher systems in the territory of Belarus, 200 kilometers north of Kyiv.