We would like to note the following in connection with the statement by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the start of military exercises by Russian troops near the state border with Ukraine:
We have not observed a noticeable increase in the deployment of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border. According to our data, Russian battalion tactical groups of combined arms formations from the Southern and Western Military Districts, mentioned by the Russian Defense Minister, were already established a few days ago (as reported earlier by the IR group).
There continue to be up to 50,000 Russian soldiers deployed in the 150 km [93 mile] zone from the state border in Russia.
Therefore, it is difficult to talk about the current concentration of Russian troops at the border as Russia’s response to the ATO conducted in eastern Ukraine. This group of Russian troops was deployed at the border prior to these events.
As for the 20 km [12 mile] border zone, the following has been observed within the past 24 hours:
Donetsk direction. Near the settlement of Gukovo (Rostov oblast [region], 2 km [1.2 miles] from the border) a movement of 50 APCs, two tanks, and up to 1,000 servicemen was detected on the road (the same procession was detected in Novoshahtinsk).
Slobozhansk direction. A convoy of five tanks pulled out from the settlement of Khomutovka (Kursk oblast, 15 km [9 miles] from the border) to the settlement of Kruglaya Polyana (Bryansk oblast, 1 km [.6 miles] from the border).
Dmitry Tymchuk, Coordinator, Information Resistance
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine