Russian-Ukrainian Dispute in the Crimean Region
Pléiades images acquired on 13 and 14 March 2014 highlight various aspects of the on-going Russian-Ukrainian dispute in the Crimean region: Russian troop movements across the Kerch strait, checkpoints established near Chongar to restrict access to Crimea from mainland Ukraine, the ‘digging in’ of Russian troops and artillery near Armyansk, on-going amphibious activity in Sevastopol, and changes to Ukraine’s air defence posture around Sevastopol.
Russian Air Force Deployment
Pléiades Satellite Image - Primorsko-Akhtarsk Airbase
Pléiades imagery captured on 14 March 2014 shows an increased Russian tactical air presence at Primorsko-Akhtarsk Airbase in southern Russia. The airbase, subordinate to the 4th Air and Air Defence Forces Command in the Southern Military District, hosts Sukhoi Su-25 ‘Frogfoot’ strike aircraft and Su-27 ‘Flanker’ air superiority fighters. 14 March imagery shows an increased presence at the airbase, with attack helicopters observed in residence.
Pléiades Satellite Image - Primorsko-Akhtarsk Airbase (Helicopters)
Sevastopol Amphibious Landing
Pléiades Satellite Image - Ropucha-class LSTM 156 Yamal in Sevastopol
In Sevastopol, efforts to reinforce Russian positions remain underway. 13 March imagery shows an active amphibious operation, with numerous military vehicles observed unloading from Ropucha-class LSTM 156 Yamal. A Ropucha-class LSTM is clear evidence of Russian military activity in the region, although as this activity is adjacent to a Russian Black Sea Fleet military garrison, it has the potential to be categorized as a ‘training activity’. Yamal may have offloaded a Bal coastal-defence anti-ship cruise missile complex that has been seen on ground-level video transiting south 1.5 km from the amphibious landing site.
Russian-Ukrainian dispute in the Crimean region
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