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Russian Army fortifying Crimea against Ukrainian counteroffensive, satellite images reveal

fortifications Crimea
Fortifications around Krasnoperekopsk. Photo: Skhemy
Russian Army fortifying Crimea against Ukrainian counteroffensive, satellite images reveal
Russians are digging in near villages or even within populated areas of northern Crimea, satellite images obtained by Skhemy/RFE/RL show.

In an anticipation of a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive, the Russian Army has been seen constructing numerous defensive lines in Crimea, extending from the administrative border with Ukraine to Dzhankoi, according to satellite images obtained by journalists from Krym Realii and Skhemy. These images, provided by Planet Labs, offer a glimpse into Russia’s strategic military maneuvers in the embattled peninsula.

The images reveal that most of these trenches have been dug by the Russian Army following its retreat from Kherson. Satellite images of the northern part of Crimea display a conspicuous pattern where Russian military positions have been frequently set up in close proximity to villages or even within populated areas. This strategy is in line with the typical behavior of the Russian Army, according to Yevhen Leshan, a Ukrainian Armed Forces officer and investigative journalist from Crimea.

“The Russians have never valued human life as such, especially the lives of Crimeans, whom they have always held as hostages. So yes, these people are in danger, the inhabitants of these villages are in danger. Because if there are military operations, the Russians will effectively use them as a shield,” Leshan noted.

Krym Realii and Skhemy have also released a selection of new satellite images from four other locations featuring new trenches that Russia has prepared for the defense of Crimea against a potential counteroffensive by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. These structures are located near the village of Filativka, the checkpoint at Armyansk, the town of Krasnoperekopsk, and around Dzhankoi.

Crimean fortifications
Fortifications near Filativka. Image: RFE/RL / Skhemy
fortifications Crimea
Fortifications in Dzhankoi raion. Image: RFE/RL / Skhemy
fortifications Crimea
Fortifications in Armiansk. Image: RFE/RL / Skhemy

Satellite evidence of these and other fortifications built by the Russian Army in occupied Crimea can be viewed in their joint video.


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