Published On: Thu, Feb 3rd, 2022

More tents: the evidence of imminent Russian-made European-war havoc and carnage

A good deal of time has now passed (or it certainly feels like it) since UK military intelligence, in its corporate-media guise (Mi7) parroted what appeared to come from its United States equivalent, concerning an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine. The invasion is still imminent.

The alarm-calling hullabaloo component of this shitehawk squawking is also ever present, and here at FBEL an explanation was offered for it (see, Ukraine: As Usual, The Squealing Is About Being Caught By The Toe), although it still remains to do to have a close look at what certain Russian officials – as well as their ilk from other countries – are saying so that the said FBEL piece is supported.

Indeed, this closer examination is quite the job of work, and looks like it will have to consist of a series of articles, of which this will be the first, using as its primary source a CNN produced transcript of the exchange that took place last Monday at a session of the UN Security Council between ambassadors of various nations, including the most interested parties to the so-called crisis.

Speaking of which, the very first thing to do is to make sure that we haven’t fallen into the trap of believing at face value US/UK claims that the Russians are building up troops at the Ukrainian border for the purpose of invading that country. As it happens, some very useful information towards that purpose comes by way of the main Russian diplomat at the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, who said that his country had only doing what it would normally, and this has been made too much of in Western presentation:

The deployment of Russian troops within our own territory has frequently occurred on varying scales before and has not caused any hysterics whatsoever. Troops and non-servicemen who are in their own areas of deployment and barracks where they were before and they are where they were not actually on the border, so this deployment of Russian troops in our own territory is getting our Western and U.S. colleagues to say that there’s going to be a planned military action and even an act of aggression.

The Russian ambassador to the UN gives us much food for thought; to wit: are the accusations of build-up on the Ukrainian border even justified?

As it happens, the answer might just be no, with recent certain UK corporate-media coverage of the topic actually undermining its own cause. What is being referred to is an article produced by Sky News (along with an accompanying much-repeated rolling news TV segment, one shouldn’t wonder) which essentially tells it audience of extra tents at certain Russian bases, and would like to give the impression of a sinister significance; i.e. “The presence of tents suggests that more troops than can be ordinarily accommodated at the base are gathering.”

However, this attempt is ultimately self-defeated (emphasis added):

“Pictures [from satellite images] show an increase in tents designed to accommodate troops at a number of Russian bases.

Previous satellite images have shown that Russia has been deploying large equipment, such as military vehicles, to their bases.

Those photos did not show that extra troops were also being sent to camps near or within Ukraine’s border, or that these camps were even being prepared to receive extra soldiers.”

Bingo! There’s no columns of troops being captured by eyes in the sky, as they wend their way in transport vehicles to staging areas at the demarcation of Russian and Ukrainian territories. There’s just canvas and canopy in static bases more than we are told is usual.

As flimsy as this is for the hysterical case that the US/UK makes against Russia, the evidence exhibited by Sky is very limited. Despite assurance that a history of Russian troop deployment can be espied in various locations using similar satellite photographs, the Sky audience doesn’t get to see this extensive evidence:

The set of images focused on here were taken on 1 February and show a Russian camp in Novoozerne, a settlement in the Crimea Peninsula.

It is around 80 miles from the peninsula’s boundary with government-controlled Ukraine.

Rows of tents can be seen filling up the large area at the bottom of the photo of the camp.

That same area is empty in an image of the base taken by Maxar on 15 September 2021 [referring to another image embedded in the article].

Note well, reader, that this particular base in Novoozerne is supposedly displaying signs of troop escalation between September 2021, and February 2022 – in short, during the winter. The significance of this simple to overlook detail is something that will be alluded to later.

In the meantime, it is quite obvious from the above extract, as well as the following, that the Russians are far from hovering on the frontier, poised to strike:

The bases in Crimea that Maxar have published photos of are in Novoozernoye, Bakhchysarai, Yevpatoria and the Opuk and Angarsky training areas.

In Western Russia, the bases are in Yelnya, Klintsy, Klimovo, the Kursk area, as well as the Persianovsky and Pogonovo training areas.

One of these bases, Kilmovo, is close to the Ukrainian border and less than 200 miles from Kyiv.

See that reader? According to the very people who think that Ukraine is about to be invaded, only one of the bases in Western Russia can be deemed to be “close” to the Ukrainian border – and only 200 miles from Kyiv. That’s about the same distance from Portsmouth to Paris: God forbid the US military ever starts accusing the UK of amassing military men and materiel for an imminent act of aggression against France.

So, it is clear, the situation is one in which Russia’s more or less normal conduct – i.e. maintaining bases  within national boundaries –  is being misrepresented for a story that the US/UK wants to be perceived as the factual narrative.  Even if one argued that it’s not the “where” of Russian conduct that matters, but the scale of it, it’s still a story, for which no proof is forthcoming, that is expected to be believed as gospel. Moreover, there is no burden on Russia to either confirm or deny the numbers that are stationed close to the Ukrainian border. On the other hand, as Nebenzya points out in pertinent fashion, the onus is on the US/UK to prove any accusations that it would use to incite a war:

Incidentally… where did you get the figure of 100,000 troops that are deployed as you stayed on the Russian Ukrainian border, although that is not the case. We have never cited that figure. We’ve never confirmed that figure. We do recall this. And we will recall this since the Secretary of State Colin Powell, in this very room, waved around a vial with an unidentified substance, so called evidence of the presence of WMD’s in Iraq. They didn’t find any weapons.

The Russian ambassador should have directed his question to the UK military-industrial plus intelligence and media complex, because according to the Sky article of our study, it appears to have a way by which is can be certain:

A spokesperson for Maxar, who made the images available, said: “Over the past couple of months, military equipment/units have been deployed at or near a number of garrisons and to existing military training areas within Russia and Crimea and adjacent to the border with Ukraine.”

He added: “Troop tents and shelters for personnel have been seen at virtually every deployment location in Belarus, Crimea and western Russia, which suggests that the units are now accompanied by troops and have increased their overall readiness level.”

So, reiterating that which was already known, it’s the extra tents, folks. But more than that, it’s finding them where they shouldn’t be – meaning at Novoozerne, as far as Sky can actually show evidence for:

Russian training exercises have been happening in Crimea but an analyst from global intelligence company Janes told Sky News that the tents at Novoozerne are unlikely to be linked to these drills.

He said: “The deployment of tents does not necessarily tie into training exercises. The location of this camp is pretty far away from the official training grounds in Crimea for one.

“It is relevant because this site houses equipment belonging to units which were deployed to Crimea from the Caucasus area during the Spring 2021 build-up. This equipment has remained at the site with relatively little activity until now.

These particular tents, as the reader can see, are especially sinister, being found at a place where there isn’t a need for them – as far as UK intelligence analysts would expect at least – and where they constitute an extension of a supposed earlier escalation.

Be that as it may, even Sky journalists know that tents don’t go to war on their own, and the perceptive reader will have noticed that certain information, whereby this intelligence featuring tents is made meaningful, is missing all through this coverage. Of course, the sixty four dollar question that demands an answer is, what is it that indicates that these temporary structures are actually being used? Well, it’s not that the crucial data was omitted from the Sky piece, but rather it seemed apposite to reveal it in punchline – as in the climax of a great gag:

Some of the images showed snow had melted from the tops of some of the tents. This indicated the tents were warm and so were likely to be in use by troops at the time the photos were taken.

So, here we learn that there is snow on the ground at one or more of these bases (the Sky piece isn’t clear to which place it is referring), and we are meant to suppose that Russian military planners think that the best preparation for a Russian soldier ahead of a war in the spring involves having him spend the winter under canvas.

Does this make sense, when it can be assumed that any member of the Russian armed forces who is assigned to a plan to take part in an invasion of Ukraine could be, until the time came for the operation to be mounted, housed in a barracks building at any distance from Kiev, let alone 200 miles, and sent with much rapidity to a staging area from whence it would be a matter of easy urgency to launch into Ukraine as quickly as possible? Indeed, surely this is how a country that was hoping to invade its neighbour would marshal its forces so that surprise would be optimal, and risk of being counter-attacked while concentrated ahead of launch would be minimal? In fact, a Russian invasion under the cover of what the enemy is told is a training exercise would be much more realistic – and this has to be why the US/UK is also complaining about troop movements due to take place in Belarus later in February, where the Russians will be taking part in 30,000-man strong exercise Allied Resolve: a “purely defensive” endeavour, according to the Belarusians.

Of course, with a level head, one should say that the US/UK “alarm” (as it is called in corporate-media) at an invasion developing from an exercise in Belarus is the same dishonest reframing of business as usual . Moreover, if one does not subscribe to the propaganda whereby Russia is destined to invade Ukraine in reaction to NATO expansion in Eastern Europe (thus triggering a greater conflict on the continent) – which this site does not – then one doesn’t expect to be proven wrong by events.

Indeed, it is important to remember that Russian intervention in Ukraine, as explained in the abovementioned previous FBEL piece, can only be sensibly imagined as something that may become possible in response to an act of aggression by Kiev (at the behest of the US/UK). As far as this article’s material  applies to this matter, and seeing that the US/UK doesn’t even appear to be able to tolerate the Russians in the vicinity of their own border, there is a deduction to be made regarding the extent to which the US/UK wants Russia to stand down so that its puppet can do what it needs to (recapture the territory owned by the separatist states, and possibly even the Crimea) and still get away with it; i.e. the vacation of bases in an exclusion zone around Ukraine extending into Russian territory. Of course, the life span of this feature for “Ukrainian security” in the talks that we know the US/UK envision (as demonstrated by statements by US/UK officials to be looked at another time), whereby Russia will be required to capitulate (because otherwise the “world” will think it is mean), should be fleeting if introduced, but knowing the hubris and the audacity of the US/UK, even though Russia in fact holds all the cards merely by innocent business as usual at the Ukrainian border, there should be no surprise if there is an attempt to insult the Russians with this more-scrofulous-than-usual insolence.

[The featured image is taken from the Sky webpage that is used as a source in this article].

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