NATO releases satellite photos of Russian troops

 
NATO officials have released satellite photos on Thursday showing the location and type of Russian forces massed on Ukraine's eastern border, to counter "misperceptions" promoted by Russia. 

"The Russians have an array of capabilities including aircraft, helicopters, special forces, tanks, artillery, infantry fighting vehicles … and these could move in a matter of hours,” said U.K. Army Brig. Gary Deakin, director of NATO's crisis-operations center said during a press briefing Thursday. 

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The pictures show more than a dozen fighter jets, almost two dozen attack and troop-lift helicopters, two dozen tanks and other infantry-fighting vehicles, as well as a "probable" airborne or special forces brigade. 
 
The photos are dated from March 22-27, but U.S. and NATO officials say there has been no major withdrawal or movements in recent weeks. 
 
"Although NATO is seeing a small amount of Russian administrative movement on the ground," the "overall lack of activity is raising flags among military staff," according to a NATO press release.  
 
Officials say there are also no sign of exercises, which Russian officials gave as an explanation for the forces massing on the border. 
 
Those forces are now deployed in more than 100 makeshift bases just across the border from Ukraine, according to The Wall Street Journal
 
NATO officials assess Russia has approximately 35,000-40,000 troops along the border, though Ukrainian officials have said there are almost 100,000. 
 
Gen. Philip Breedlove, head of U.S. European Command, told reporters on Wednesday that the forces have "all the provisioning and enabling it needs to accomplish military objectives if given them."
 
Officials say Breedlove is planning to unveil in the coming days a set of measures NATO is planning to take to reassure allies.