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Force monitoring indicates developing situation on Ukrainian border

Force monitoring conducted by Janes analysts using social media indicates that Russia is conducting force movements to staging areas closer to the border with Ukraine. While it is not immediately apparent that an escalation in the Ukraine conflict is imminent, the movements do appear to be outside of regular cycles for Russian Ground Troops.

Since mid-October Janes has observed the withdrawal of equipment deployed to the Voronezh region during the spring build-up. A significant uptick in videos showing equipment being withdrawn from the Voronezh region circulated online on 25–31 October stoked initial fears that Russia was deploying yet more troops to the region. Janes analysis of this footage indicates the vast majority to be relatively benign and either showing equipment being moved from Voronezh to Smolensk or Southern Military District (SMD) equipment returning to bases following control check exercises. There are, however, two events that are concerning and merit continued observation identified by Janes during this period.

On 28–29 October Janes identified the deployment of elements of the 4th Tank Division equipped with what is believed to be a battalion-sized element of T-80U main battle tanks and 2S19 self-propelled howitzers over 300 km from the Moscow region to the Bryansk and Kursk regions on the northern Ukrainian border. Janes has also identified the possible deployment of additional 1st Guards Tank Army assets such as the 2nd Motorised Division and 6th Tank Brigade to the Bryansk and Kursk regions.

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