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On the ground: A column of Russian vehicles, and soldiers without insignia.

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia – Multiple military vehicles and soldiers without insignia were seen parked on a highway on Monday, in the vicinity of Rostov-on-Don, a major Russian city, about 60 km from the border with Ukraine.

Dozens of soldiers, some of them clad in tank tops, circled the equipment parked on a mile-long pole.

In a worrisome sign, military vehicles had no number plates, and soldiers were stripped of all their ranks, including their names and ranks, on their uniforms. Some soldiers wore white ribbons on their shoulders.

In recent weeks, military experts and investigators followed mass movement of troops and equipment toward the Ukrainian border from the interior of Russia. They rely on witnesses who have posted videos of such moves on Tik Tok and other social networks.

In 2014, Russia sent a group of soldiers to serve as the basis for the annexation of Crimea to Ukraine. These soldiers did not wear insignia, and while Moscow denied that the “little blue soldiers”, as they were known at the time, were in fact Russian soldiers, President Vladimir Putin finally confirmed the their presence on the peninsula.

Another column, consisting of missile systems covered with cloth, was discovered on the Don highway, along the Ukrainian border, connecting Moscow with the Black Sea. Multiple groups of military trucks were also observed driving along that highway.

Members of law enforcement forces in Russia’s Rostov region have stepped up security measures at train stations and border crossing points where refugees, fleeing in what they say are the increasingly tense situation in the breakaway republics, was handled before being transported to other cities across Russia on trains.

In a further escalation, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service said in a meeting with Putin and top security officials that two groups of “saboteurs” had tried to infiltrate Russia. in the Rostov region.

At the meeting with Putin, Russian security officials pointed to the situation with “saboteurs” and also with refugees, fleeing two breakaway republics, as one of the main reasons. for Moscow to move towards officially recognizing the two breakaway entities. .

Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukraine’s defense minister, called the situation with the refugees “a farce”.

“It’s just a production for Mosfilm,” he said, referring to a Russian film production company.

At a vast temporary refugee processing center in Taganrog, Yelena Reznichenko, from the Ukrainian city of Debaltsevo, said that “she wanted to go home”, but she felt that she “didn’t believe that the Government officials can make a deal” with avoiding war.

“We have no one in Russia,” Ms. Reznichenko said. “I don’t know where we’re going.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/21/world/europe/on-the-ground-a-column-of-russian-vehicles-and-soldiers-without-insignia.html On the ground: A column of Russian vehicles, and soldiers without insignia.

Fry Electronics Team

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