SHAPE, BELGIUM - NATO is providing a series of images (see below) to the public in order to inform debate regarding recent events in the border region of Russia and Ukraine.
The imagery shows that on 30 May in Rostov-na-Donu, a Russian unit was deployed, but no tanks were present at the time the image was taken.
Imagery from the 6th of June shows the Russian unit departing, which we believe was part of a Russian announcement to pull troops back from the border region. In the context of this overall withdrawal, 8 main battle tanks are shown to have arrived.
On the 11th of June, 10 main battle tanks can be seen at the site. 3 of these are parked, 4 are in the training area, and 3 are loaded heavy equipment transport trucks that are normally used to move tanks, likely indicating imminent movement by road.
On the 12th of June, Ukrainian officials report that 3 main battle tanks and several armoured vehicles crossed the border at the Dovzhanskyy border crossing, which was under the control of pro-Russian elements of the so-called "People’s Republic of Luhansk.” Sightings of these tanks were later reported in open sources in Snizhne and then Makiivka, near Donetsk. The tanks do not bear markings or camouflage paint like those used by the Ukrainian military. In fact, they do not have markings at all, which is reminiscent of tactics used by Russian elements that were involved in destabilising Crimea.