Tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border continue to grow

While national news is focused on the 3rd confinement announced by the President of the Republic, an otherwise more dangerous scenario is playing out at the moment at the borders between Ukraine, Russia, its allies and its occupied territories. As we had already indicated two days ago, numerous observations corroborated the abnormally high troop movements initiated by the Russian armies in Crimea and on the border between Donbas and Russia. At the same time, the Ukrainian armies were deploying forces in these areas. This brought the US European Command to place its forces on heightened alert "Imminent crisis", the highest peacetime alert level. But the nature of the deployed forces, essentially units appearing to belong to the Russian airborne forces, and the noted absence of a massive deployment of logistical support, could suggest a spring show of force, as there have been many since 2014 on this theater.

In two days, the situation has changed significantly, and not in a reassuring way. Indeed, not only has the flow of Russian troops massing in Crimea and around the Russian-Ukrainian border not ceased, but other observations have apparently led NATO to call a meeting of emergency of the military chiefs as well as of the political office of the alliance. Contacts between Western HQs and their counterparts have also increased, but it seems that Moscow's response to the legitimate questions of Europeans and Americans has always been the same: the movement of troops to Russia only concerns Russia. Otherwise, Moscow warns NATO against all will to intervene in this crisis.

7 BM21 Grad systems like this one disappeared from the warehouses of Donbass where they were stored in application of the ceasefire conducted under the aegis of the OSCE

Among the more worrying signs observed over the past 2 days, figure the disappearance noted by the observation mission in Donbas of several artillery systems stored by the independence forces, in this case 7 multiple rocket launchers BM21 Grad, and 5 towed 152 mm Msta guns. In addition, the authorities of the secessionist provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk announced the immediate conscription of all young men born between 1994 and 2003 for a 6-month military service, with the reassuring assurance that the conscripts will not be sent to the combat zone. Troop movements were also reported in Belarus, without being able to be formally confirmed or assessed.

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