Crisis in Ukraine, is Moscow’s withdrawal concrete? What the satellite photos say

from Guido Olimpio

Field hospitals, helicopters and bridges: satellite photos, according to the Pentagon, show how the Kremlin is deploying men and vehicles in an attack position

Putin moves troops, Biden responds with satellites. The clash over Ukraine fought with (satellite) images, to convince, deny, accuse.

On the 16th the Russians released a video of a railway train loaded with armored vehicles in the Crimea to demonstrate military retreat. Quick the US reply to argue that the rivals were actually moving forward with the concentration of forces and preparations. Several photos have also appeared on social media that served to demonstrate this thesis.

The first concerns a mobile bridge built between 13 and 15 February over the Pripyat River, in Belarus, and near the Ukrainian border. A structure that would give access to the Chernobyl area. A development accompanied by the comments of some analysts who had previously reported the movements of a Russian engineering unit equipped with pontoons. We are talking about images that are not secret but circulate freely on the web and available to anyone. Then the satellite “shots” concerning the concentration of departments were relaunched, the creation of a field hospital in Osipovic and the arrival of helicopters in Zyabrovka. The Pentagon’s message was clear: they have deployed the men in attacking positions. Accusation denied by Moscow officials.

For days the spy satellites and a large number of reconnaissance have begun to rake in the area of ​​confrontation. The aircraft – including drones that departed from Sigonella – have patrolled from the far north, as evidenced by the involvement of Swedish aircraft, to the Black Sea. The famous curved sword that cuts the continent. Everything – or almost – happened in the clear. Putin’s generals have moved columns of vehicles, often using trains, an old tradition added to the logistic capacities thanks to the use of some specialized regiments in the use of the railway line. They are convoys that you certainly cannot hide or camouflage. As well as the amassing of tanks. They wanted them to see each other. Same thing for the routes followed by naval formations, departing from the Baltic and arriving in the Mediterranean, task forces monitored by NATO but which in some cases kept the AIS signal on, a rare detail for a warship. The United States, in turn, has advertised the arrival in Europe of the B 52 bombers, followed by fans via twitter, a tracking possible also for spy planes.

Every international moment has a photo to remember. Sometimes there is a real battle, often the information war symbolized by an image prevails. This has always been the case, except that in the past times of propaganda were slower and there was no private front, powered by experts, with good sources in intelligence. A memory above all, in black and white: the merchant ships with the missiles that the USSR wanted to supply to Cuba in October 1962.


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