Report from Dmitry Tymchuk: Regarding military exercises of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border

This was just received:

As for the 20 km [12 mile] border zone, the following has been observed within the past 24 hours:

Donetsk direction. Near the settlement of Gukovo (Rostov oblast [region], 2 km [1.2 miles] from the border) a movement of 50 APCs, two tanks, and up to 1,000 servicemen was detected on the road (the same procession was detected in Novoshahtinsk).

Slobozhansk direction. A convoy of five tanks pulled out from the settlement of Khomutovka (Kursk oblast, 15 km [9 miles] from the border) to the settlement of Kruglaya Polyana (Bryansk oblast, 1 km [.6 miles] from the border).

Here is the complete post. 

My Comments:

The forces in the Donetsk location are about 3km from Ukraine border. The northern force is only a few hundred meters from the border.

In my view the size of these forces are not sufficient to insure any operational success if intended to support a general invasion. I conclude if this force size remains unchanged this is likely just more Russian theater.

One interesting fact about these two locations is that they both are near salients in the Russian Ukrainian border. The one near Donetsk juts into Russia. The one in the Slobozhansk region juts into Ukraine.  The Russians may try a small incursion into these salients under some historical claim and see what happens.  The one in the south would be an invasion of Ukrainian territory.

What Russia may not have fully factored is that with the reports of actions being taken against ethnic Tatars in Crimea, this ill advised move could form the basis for Turkey to militarize the straights cutting Russia off from the Mediterranean.

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