Military experts told the publication that Russia had created conditions for establishing air superiority and support of ground troops
The scale of Russian military airlift to Crimea and bases near Ukraine has been greater than previously known, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In its view, this has increased Moscow’s capacity for political intimidation or military intervention,
Citing commercial satellite images of areas used for a military buildup, the newspaper wrote that they show Su-30 fighter jets lined up on the runway at an airbase in Crimea.
The planes seen in the April 16 photo were not there in late March, the publication said.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the photos suggest that airborne, motorized rifle, and armored forces units, as well as attack helicopters, reconnaissance drones, radio jamming systems, and a military hospital are also in the Crimea.
“They have appropriately deployed the various elements of airpower necessary to create air superiority over the battlefield and directly support ground troops,” commented retired U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, who commanded NATO forces in 2014 when Russian forces seized Crimea.
Gen. Breedlove said the pictures indicated that Russian units were not preparing for an immediate strike while noting that Moscow had many options for military action.