Russia is deploying to the occupied Crimea the units of the 76th Guards Air Assault Division, commonly known as the Pskov paratroopers.
That's according to Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), a Russia-based OSINT group.
On April 4, a video was posted on TikTok showing a railway flatcar carrying a Nona-S self-propelled artillery. This hardware is in service with Russia's Air Assault Forces.
Read alsoRussia pulling military hardware toward Ukraine border: Videos show trucks with covered license plates (Video)After verifying the flatcar's registration number using the Gdevagon online service, the investigators established that it follows from the Cheryokha station in Pskov region, bound to the Simferopol-cargo station.
"Military unit 07264, 76th Guards Air Assault Division, whose fighters are known as 'Pskov paratroopers' is mentioned as cargo shipper and cargo recipient. The 104th Guards Air Assault Regiment, which is part of the division, is stationed exactly in the village of Cheryokha, from where the train in the video departed. Certain details, for example, a stack of round timber by the tracks, allows assuming that the video was shot at the Cheryokha station, during train loading," the report says.
The 76th Division took part in the operation of the Russian troops against the Ukrainian Army in Donbas in the summer of 2014, where they suffered losses.
Russian military buildup around Ukraine: Details
- On March 30, 2021, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak said Russia had deployed 28 battalion tactical groups along the state border of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied territories. It is also said to be planning to bring up to 25 battalion tactical groups under the guise of preparing for military drills. Such actions pose a threat to Ukraine's military security.
- According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, enemy troops are reinforcing their advanced units with reconnaissance teams and sniper pairs, involving Russian army instructors in personnel training.
- Russia-led forces' artillery units are reportedly on full alert in certain districts, including villages and towns in occupied Ukrainian territory.
- The Ukrainian Defense Ministry'sMain Intelligence Directorate does not rule out that enemy forces may try to go for an incursion and deploy their troops deeper into the territory of Ukraine. According to intelligence reports, Russia is building up its military presence near the Ukrainian borders and is completing the preparation of a set of measures aimed at forcing Ukraine into a military response.
- President Volodymyr Zelensky says Moscow is trying to put pressure on Kyiv by amassing its military forces along the Russian-Ukrainian border.
- Ukraine's military intelligence agency, GUR MO, has reported that Russia may try to go for an incursion and deploy its troops deeper into the territory of Ukraine.
- On April 1, Roman Mashovets, Deputy Chief of the President's Office, said that Russia is trying to disrupt the peace process. More than 570 ceasefire violations have been recorded since year-start.
- Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has expressed concern over the latest escalation in Donbas, which he calls "largest in recent years", noting Russia's direct involvement in aggravation.
- U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has reassured his Ukrainian counterpart, Defense Minister Andrii Taran, that Washington will not give up on Ukraine in case Russia escalates aggression. The two defense chiefs had a phone call April 1, on the initiative of the American side.
- U.S. President Joe Biden in his first call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky April 2 affirmed the U.S. "unwavering support" for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity "in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression" in Donbas and Crimea.
- Asked why Russian troops had become were moving along Ukraine's border in vehicles with covered-up license plates and whether there is any guarantee that the units "won't get lost" in Ukraine as was the case in 2014 when the war in Donbas began, Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the maneuvers should not cause "any concern" to anyone.