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Russia moves equipment away from training ground near Ukrainian border

Video footage and imagery sourced from social media and analysed by Janes between 13 July and 21 July appears to show that Russia has begun to withdraw equipment from a training ground in Voronezh, close to the Ukrainian border.

The equipment, which is assessed by Janes to belong to the Central Military District's 41 st Combined Arms Army, was deployed over thousands of kilometres from central Russia to Voronezh during a buildup of forces in March and April. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed on 22 April that the 41 st Combined Arms Army's equipment would not return to central Russia until after it took part in ‘Zapad-2021', a large-scale Western Military District exercise scheduled to take place in September.

Videos and images analysed by Janes were all captured in the immediate vicinity of Maslovka railway station – one of the primary stations used by Russian forces to deliver equipment to the Pogonovo training ground during the March-April buildup. Two additional stations, Tresvyatskaya and Kolodeznaya, were also used to move equipment into Pogonovo, but as of 21 July Janes has not identified any movement out of these stations.

Videos and images posted to social media by multiple users on13 and 14 July show around 20 T-72-type main battle tanks, BAT-2 engineering vehicles, an MTU-72 armoured bridgelayer, and Borisoglebsk-2 electronic warfare systems either being loaded onto trains or parked next to the tracks at Maslovka. Meanwhile, images posted on 20 July show BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, 2S3 self-propelled howitzers, and Borisoglebsk-2 systems onboard trains at Maslovka, and at least three TOS-1A thermobaric multiple rocket launchers (MRLs), three TZM transloaders, three BM-21 Grad MRLs, and three MT-LB armoured personnel carriers parked next to the tracks, likely waiting to board trains.

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