Based on our observations, we can state that the Russian armed forces have become more active in several directions at the same time. Recently we have already reported about the movements of the Russian troops – another tactical detachment of the 8th motorized rifle brigade has been transferred to the Ukrainian border in Rostov Oblast and the heavy artillery from the 385th artillery brigade based in Orenburg has been registered near Kuzminsky shooting site.
According to the information received from our sources, and taking into account the results of OSINT investigations, we’ve got some additional information:
- Movement of self-propelled howitzer artillery and ‘Grad’ MRLS units from the field camps in Myasnitsky raion towards Matveev Kurgan has been registered in Rostov Oblast. Allegedly, this weaponry comes from the 28th separate motorized rifle brigade (military unit No. 61423, Central Military District, Yekaterinburg). The information is being checked.
- Deployment of additional forces to the occupied Crimea has been documented as well. Fresh troops and equipment are being transferred from Tamansky peninsula via ferries to Kerch and then to Dzhankoy. This includes units from the 217th airborne regiment (military unit No. 62295, Ivanovo) and the 331st airborne regiment (unit No. 71211, Kostroma) from the 98th airborne division. The units have their organic weaponry and equipment, this fact is justified by the pictures uploaded to the profile of one of the Russian paratroopers (additional photos 1, 1/1; 2, 2/2). It should be noted that the hull numbers of the APCs loaded on the platforms are removed, the automobile vehicles also have no license plates. This information is indirectly confirmed by the news published in media of ‘Novorossiya’, according to which “thousands of ‘polite electricians-paratroopers’ arrived to Dzhankoy”. The latest information indicates that 3 echelons have been formed for further deployment of the troops and equipment to Armyansk or Solone Ozero (this is being checked). It is possible that the movement of the forces from Kostroma and Ivanovo is linked to creation of the 3rd regiment of the 7th airborne division in Crimea.
Bloggers say that deployment of the 97th airborne regiment of the 7th mountain assault combat division from Novorossiysk has been started near Kalynivka village (3 km to the South-West of Dzhankoy). Some time ago number ’97’ was assigned to the 97th guards airborne Kuban Cossack regiment disbanded in 1997.
- Additionally, the assault aviation group on the near-border airfield in Rostov Oblast has been extended too. Five Su-30SM fighters from Transbaikal were added to the 31st fighter aviation regiment (village of Dolotinka, Millerovo area). The first set of aircrafts (with side numbers ‘red 03’, ‘red 04’, ‘red 05’) arrived on October 13, two more fighters (‘red 07’ and ‘red 08’) came from Irkutsk on November 6.
- The construction of a double-track electrified railway line from Voronezh to Rostov Oblast on the Zhuravka-Millerovo haul bypassing Ukraine is carried out. Work is being done by the railway troops, who must put it in operation until December 31, 2017.
Original article translated by St.Grishin