A Ukrainian group that backs the government in Kiev on Tuesday published video captured by drone aircraft and said it shows a Russian military encampment in eastern Ukraine, bolstering claims that Moscow has expanded its military actions there.
The video was posted on YouTube by Dnipro-1, a volunteer defense force, and highlighted on the Daily Beast. It includes English subtitles, and claims the encampment is in the village of Solncevo, in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. That’s found here:
The video points out T-72 tanks, construction equipment and tents, and notes that activity has increased in the last month. Footage was taken on May 20, and then more recently, according to the video.
Large tents also can be seen in the video, raising questions about whether a headquarters has been established for command and control. Fuel trucks appear to have designated parking areas, and roads that include reflective strips for driving at night.
President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have repeatedly denied having troops in Ukraine. U.S. officials said in March that they would send Humvees and unarmed drones to Kiev, but declined to deliver offensive weaponry.
The top NATO commander, Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, said last week that the border between Ukraine and Russia is “wide open,” and Moscow’s military action in the region is carefully orchestrated to keep pressure on Ukraine from aligning too closely with the West. There is a “constant flow” of troops and equipment across the border, he added.
“What smart people are saying is that Mr. Putin is very clear that he does not want Kiev leaning to the West and he will use the appropriate force necessary to keep Kiev from leaning to the West,” Breedlove said.