Russia deploys Iskander missiles to Ukrainian border.
Image Credit: Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT)en
Last week, US European command raised its watch level from from ‘possible crisis’ to ‘potential imminent crisis’ after a buildup of Russian troops was observed near the border of Ukraine.
Now it has also been reported that among the heavy equipment being transported near the border, open-source intelligence specialist at Janes Thomas Bullock, identified Russian Iskander missile systems.
The Iskander missile system, also known as SS-26 stone, is a ballistic missile launcher with a short range. It is believed to have a range of less than 300km, but some experts say that this range could be extended. They were seen deployed near Voronezh, which is around 250km away from Ukraine’s border. These missile systems can also carry an R-500 missile that can carry a 500kg nuclear warhead with a yield of 10-50kT.
Thomas Bullock said that he identified the missile systems in a Janes article from April 8th.
Since late March, Russia has been identified moving large quantities of military equipment to its Ukrainian border, specifically the Crimea, Voronezh, and Rostov regions.Thomas Bullock.
According to CIT, this is a new Russian army camp located in Voronezh region. Image Credit: CIT
The buildup of troops and heavy equipment near the Ukrainian border is worrying the Western world. A potential conflict could be imminent, and recently, the Ukrainian Defense Minister said that his country could be provoked by the Russian troop buildup in the area. There is speculation that Russia might be preparing to send troops inside Ukraine, but Russia denied this.
Last Friday, Russia said that the recent buildup of troops near Ukraine’s border and Crimea were a response to provocations by Ukraine. Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov said,
The Kremlin has fears that a civil war could resume in Ukraine. If a civil war — a full-scale military action — resumes near our borders that would threaten the Russian Federation’s security.Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel already discussed this on phone. Merkel asked Putin to withdraw all troop reinforcements to achieve de-escalation of the situation. US President Joe Biden has repeatedly expressed his support for Ukraine and has vowed to protect the country.
Last Thursday, The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki said that currently Russia has more troops near the border of Ukraine than at any time since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea.