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Satellite images taken this week show military activity in several locations across Belarus, Ukraine’s annexed Crimea region and western Russia near the Ukrainian border. U.S.-based Maxar Technologies, which has been tracking the buildup of Russian forces for weeks, said the footage shows recent helicopter deployments, consisting of both troop transport and attack helicopters. ground, in several places near the border.

The United States has issued some of its clearest and most detailed warnings to date about how a Russian invasion of Ukraine could unfold, and its Western allies have been put on high alert for any attempts. of the Kremlin to create a false pretext for a new war in Europe.

US President Joe Biden looked uncharacteristically dire on Thursday as he warned Washington saw no signs of a promised Russian withdrawal – but instead saw more troops heading towards the border with Ukraine, indicating Moscow could invade in a few days.

Ukrainian army soldiers pose for a photo as they gather to celebrate a Unity Day in Odessa, Ukraine, Feb. 16, 2022. (AP)

Western fears center on around 150,000 Russian troops – about 60% of all Russian ground forces – stationed around Ukraine’s borders. The Kremlin insists it has no intention of invading, but it has long viewed Ukraine as part of its sphere of influence and NATO’s eastward expansion as an existential threat. A key demand in this crisis is that NATO promise never to allow Ukraine to join.

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