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‘We’ve been through this before’: Ukrainian city faces possible Russian invasion

On the front lines in southeastern Ukraine, soldiers patrolled the trenches on alert for attack from separatists or Russian-backed forces. This has been an active front line since 2015…… after the Russian separatists took control of the eastern regions of Ukraine. Now, the soldiers wonder if they will soon fight the Russian military forces mobilizing on the other side of the border. Fourteen miles from the front line was Mariupol, an industrial port city of about half a million inhabitants. In the event of an invasion, this could be the scene of large-scale battles. It bears the scars of rocket fire from the separatists, and the people are now preparing for an attack that Russia denies is imminent. We’ve examined satellite images and videos posted to social media that suggest they may have reason to fear. Our findings show Russian military buildup on three sides of the Ukrainian border. To the north, Russia has moved heavy military equipment towards the border. Some are within striking distance of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. And Russia has deployed fighter jets to Belarus. To the south, Russia has moved more weapons and equipment to the Crimean peninsula it seized from Ukraine in 2014. To the east, in the Rostov-on-Don region, satellite images show recent expansion of tents for housing at one of Russia’s largest military bases. Videos posted by the Russian Defense Ministry also show live-fire drills. Nearby is the Sea of ​​Azov, whose waters are common. Russia has increased its naval presence here, and it could be the site of a new attack or provocation, and that puts the Ukrainian Maritime Self-Defense Force in a precarious position. They often patrol these waters within sight of Russian ships, which outnumber Ukrainian ships by four to one. After years of conflict, some city dwellers are conflicted about the risk of escalation. . Others are preparing for the worst, even a city official. Mikhail Vershinin is a volunteer veteran, currently the head of the police patrol of the Donetsk region. But many residents in this city have ties to Russia, and fear the consequences of Ukraine’s turn against President Putin. Some, including soldiers, were asked to withhold their last names out of concern for their personal safety. Just east of Mariupol, the town of Shyrokyne is a stark reminder of the cost of war. All that remains is a group of Ukrainian soldiers dug among the rubble. A village to the north, Zoya Kralya remains driven by her intrigues and animals. She is one of the few remaining residents. Her daughter moved to Russia after the conflict began, and she now lives alone. After years of fighting the separatists, Ukrainians here know what a Russian invasion could mean…… and how much money could be lost.

https://www.nytimes.com/video/world/europe/100000008155720/ukraine-mauripol-russia.html ‘We’ve been through this before’: Ukrainian city faces possible Russian invasion

Fry Electronics Team

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