Satellite photos show Russian troops digging in near Ukraine

WASHINGTON -- New satellite photos show Russian troops are digging in along the border with Ukraine -- not pulling back. There are concerns that Russia may be preparing to invade eastern Ukraine after annexing Crimea.

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Satellite images show Russian equipment arrayed along Ukraine's eastern border.
Digital Globe
Photos taken by a commercial satellite show Russian jets parked wingtip to wingtip; helicopters -- some of them gunships -- spread across a field; a grid full of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles; another full of artillery pieces.

The equipment is arrayed in an arc encompassing Ukraine's eastern border and is judged by U.S. intelligence to be ready to move within 12 hours.

Rows of vehicles are identified as a probable special forces brigade, similar to the units that first flew into Crimea to seize the airfields there. In the last 24 hours, the Russians have moved anti-aircraft missile batteries closer to the border, a move that would discourage the Ukrainian air force from intercepting planes flying in Russian troops.

Also within the past few days, the Russians have started making infrastructure improvements -- such as laying gravel on dirt roads -- that suggest they have no intention of pulling back anytime soon. One Russian unit even laid out a soccer field to keep the troops entertained.


  • David Martin

    David Martin is CBS News' National Security Correspondent.

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