Military Capabilities

Russian buildup around Belgorod continues

02 April 2014
Airbus Defence and Space imagery shows evidence of a Russian military buildup in Belgorod. Source: © CNES 2014, Distribution Astrium Services / Spot Image S.A. / IHS

Key Points

  • Russia continues to move military units closer to the border region adjacent to Ukraine
  • Airbus Defence and Space satellite imagery illustrates Russian troop deployments to a training range near Belgorod

Despite Russian claims to have withdrawn some troops from its borders with Ukraine, satellite imagery shows that Russian Army deployments to the border region appear to continue.

Last week, IHS Jane's noted the deployment of armoured units to the Novozybkov region in Bryansk oblast, which lies north of Kiev. As time passes, the specific locations of deployed units can be ascertained using satellite imagery.

Airbus Defence and Space imagery captured on 21 March 2014 shows Russian troop formations deployed to a training centre west of Belgorod. As current reporting continues to illuminate Russian military deployments in the region, satellite imagery represents a method of verifying both equipment deployments and deployment locations. Troops deployed to Belgorod reportedly originate from the 76th Air Assault Division in Pskov and the 106th Guards Airborne Division in Tula.

Satellite imagery of the bivouac area at the Belgorod training centre, captured on 21 March 2014, indicates a significant presence of military vehicles consistent with those found in an airborne division. Furthermore, a significant number of tents are present to house personnel.

Additional satellite imagery captured on 31 March 2014 indicates an increased troop presence at Belgorod, including activity around the training centre's airfield. Photographs of Belgorod initially depicted helicopter activity; while not present in 21 March imagery, 1 x Mi-8/17 'Hip' and 2 x Mi-24/35 'Hind' helicopters are present in 31 March imagery. Also visible are multiple temporary helipads and possible fuel tankers.

On 31 March 2014, IHS Jane's reported a limited withdrawal of Russian forces from the Ukrainian border region, citing President Putin's claim that troops deployed near Kadamovsky withdrew from their positions. Increased troop presence at Belgorod indicates the possibility of continued troop build-up in border regions. However, increased deployments at Belgorod, noted in 31 March imagery, possibly transpired prior to Putin's announcement of a limited withdrawal, with available satellite imagery only able to discern that the build-up took place between 21 and 31 March.

Activity around the Belgorod airstrip on 31 March 2014. (© CNES 2014, Distribution Astrium Services / Spot Image S.A. / IHS)Activity around the Belgorod airstrip on 31 March 2014. (© CNES 2014, Distribution Astrium Services / Spot Image S.A. / IHS)

East of Belgorod is a commercial airfield. At the time of writing, there is no evidence in satellite imagery of any military aviation activity at the airfield. A possible precursor to airborne insertion into Ukraine would be the arrival of airlift assets such as Ilyushin Il-76 'Candid' strategic transport aircraft to Belgorod's commercial airfield.



(407 words)
By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and our Terms of Use of this site.

RELEVANT PROFILE LISTINGS

  • Denel R4 and R5 5.56 mm assault rifles

    Development The R4 5.56 mm assault rifle, which replaced both the Fabrique Nationale 7.62 mm Fusil Automatique Léger (FN FAL) R1 and the Heckler & Koch G3 as the South African Defence Force (now the South African National Defence Force - SANDF) standard infantry weapons, is a modified

  • AS 9 mm silent assault rifle

    Development The AS (Aвтомат Sпециальный Vал) 9 mm silent assault rifle, also referred to as the Val (Shaft) can trace its origins back to the time when Gary Powers of the US Air Force was

  • Fabrica De Arme Cugir 5.45 mm assault rifles

    Development When the Romanian small arms manufacturer Fabrica De Arme Cugir S.A. began production of 5.45 mm assault rifles the standard 7.62 mm calibre AKM was already in production as the Model 1963. Consequently this was used as the basis for a modified rifle to fire the new 5.45 mm cartridge,

  • FN F2000 5.56 mm assault rifle

    Development The first information regarding the FN Herstal 5.56 mm F2000 Modular Assault Weapon System (MAWS) was released in March 2001, following a concept and development period dating back to 1995. During this initial stage investigations were made into future requirements regarding assault

  • IWI X95 5.56 mm assault rifle

    Development The IWI X95 is a further development of the 5.56 mm Micro-Tavor assault rifle. It was originally developed for use special forces requiring a weapon of rifle calibre but with reduced length. The model name of Micro-Tavor was dropped in mid-2008 and the gun was re-launched as the

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

IHS Jane's is not responsible for the content within or linking from Industry Links pages.
ADVERTISEMENT