Satellite Images of Russia – A Puzzlement by Walrus

The Australian ABC has today posted an article syndicated from AP entitled “Here’s what sanctions the US could impose on Russia if it invades Ukraine”

This suggests, charmingly, that among other targets for sanctions, President Putins alleged partner might be a suitable victim.

However while Alina Kabaeva is most attractive, that is not the image that quite caught my eye.

This one: “A satellite image of a Russian troop build-up at Klimovo, Russia, 13 kilometres north of the Russia-Ukraine border.(Supplied: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)”

Google suggests this is one of a series referenced by a Radio Free Europe Article “Military Buildup: New Images Capture Russian Armor Massing Near Ukraine”:

This provides helpful images of the aforesaid build up. With reference to these images, taken on January 19 2022, an amateur makes the following comments:

Image 1 – A full vehicle park at Yelnya, 150 miles from Ukraine. Two of the tanks have been running engines, they are the ones not covered by snow the rest are dead cold. What would one expect for daily vehicle checks for an active unit? Yelnya is an established base for at least seven years.

Image 2 and image 5 show an equipment store at Klimovo, some 30 kilometers from the Ukraine border. the comment on image 5 states: “Military equipment massed (I love that emotive word) at the Klimovo storage facility on January 19. Older imagery from Google Maps of the same location shows a fraction of the military vehicles present.

This links to a google image of an empty facility which PROVES that massing has occurred.,+Bryansk+Oblast,+Russia/@52.346282,32.1680393,567m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x46d4a0d137ad6257:0x7ea4add83a2b92ac!8m2!3d52.3763189!4d32.2005574

There is just one problem; inspection of that location with Google Earth Pro shows that the ’empty” image date is 9/13/2014! Eight years ago.

I cannot comment on the other images, but I’m puzzled by what I’m seeing and how it supports the idea of a massive build up.

Could others please examine these images?

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40 Responses to Satellite Images of Russia – A Puzzlement by Walrus

  1. Fred says:

    Walrus, those are not tanks, those are not troops. That is only staging for a migrant caravan. Immigration is Ukraine’s strength. Open borders is exactly what Ukraine needs right now. An influx of new immigrats will transform Ukraine into a more just, verdant, and peaceful nation. A beacon of progress in a dark world. Immigration is Ukraine’s strength!

  2. Steve Ogle says:

    Honestly, you could take an Aerial photo of a US base and call it a Russian build up on the border. Who would know the difference besides those with military experience. Not me. Like most things you have to trust who’s supplying the info.

    Trying to do some research on the atrocities committed in the Donbas. All the things I remember reading 6/7 years ago gone like it never happened. Or replaced by think tank articles that are obviously subsidized by a Ukrainian good Russian bad state of mind. Makes me wonder at what point does the propaganda become so bad that it starts to have the opposite intended effect on a persons psyche?

  3. Babeltuap says:

    Thanks Walrus. I wonder if Dustin Hoffman and De Niro are even mildly entertaining things look remarkable similar to a particular move they starred in. I know De Niro has been dealing with some severe financial pain and Hoffman keeps re-inventing himself over and over with Kung Fu Panda movies so probably not…meh.

  4. blue peacock says:


    All of this is reminiscent of Colin Powell embarrassing himself showing some test tube and imagery to the UN security council in a gigantic hoax on the people of the world as George Bush and the Republicans aided and abetted by the Democrats steam-rolled everyone in the “Coalition of the Willing”.

    It seems the Democrats are leading the snow job this time! Nancy is ginning up a new spending bill as if the $800+ billion is insufficient for the DoD and god knows what little “goodies” will be buried in that appropriation. Maybe Biden gets his “Voting Rights” provisions in it. How many Republicans will we see standing toe to toe with Nancy and cheer USA! USA! for standing up to the “Evil Putin”? Maybe they could have Dubya & Papa Dick have cameo appearances too?? And Obama for good measure.

    As the covidian emergency fades, we get the next Russia emergency. All bi-partisan of course. And the American people who allow all of this, keep complying to every new stricture like the perfect sheep.

    • blue peacock says:

      This is how juvenile our leadership and media are. It is beyond parody.

      300 reasons for Putin to think twice about invading Ukraine: US sends Kiev a plane-load of lethal Javelin anti-tank weapons – each with Vlad’s name on them

    • Sam says:

      I suppose covid, inflation and the stock market swoon is over. We’re back to happy hunting grounds that everyone can feel good about. Bash Putin!

      Is jingoism gonna work this time? Or after the covidian power grab trust in institutions is so far gone that the majority ain’t gonna buy this amateur hour? We’ll have both Democrats and Republicans clicking heels and saluting another round of Russia hysteria however. That’s one thing they all agree including our Fifth column.

  5. Eric Newhill says:

    That’s it? They’re gonna invade Ukraine with what we see in the images? The Russians might want to revisit their evil regional aggression brigades’ TO&E. Seems they’re especially lite on fuel and ammo supply and transport, as well as infantry support for the armor.

  6. ancientarcher says:

    No puzzlement there Walrus!

    Every 6-8 years, during the Olympics held in non-vassal states, the US pushes one of its vassal states to try and commit suicide by cop.. oops, suicide by attacking the Russkies. In 2008, it was Georgia. In 2014, during the Sochi Olympics, it was the Ukraine. Now, in 2022, Olympics time has come again and it is in China this time, like in 2008. So, a vassal has to be pushed to besmirch the spirit of the Olympics. You do know that in the ancient times they used to observe a 3 month peace during the Olympics. So, the Americans gotta push it now, during the Winter Olympics.

    The media propaganda is just preparation for that – for the sacrifice of a vassal. Whether the vassal, the Ukraine, will do as asked depends on many things including whether enough hands have been greased in that country to push fellow citizens to their slaughter in a war they know they can’t win, whether the jewish neocons will be allowed to exert control on the situation overriding concerns from the defense establishment, etc.

    We will see. For the moment, the media is doing its job of preparing us for the false flag that the US needs for the vassal to be sacrificed. The countries close to the situation – France, Germany etc have been wondering what the hoo haa is all about. Russia has been repeating that there are no plans to invade the Ukraine. But the US has other plans. And what you have seen is just the media support for the operation ahead

  7. Deap says:

    US military massing on its southern borders: San Diego, California, Coronado, California Camp Pendleton, California. El Paso Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas, Pensacola, Florida, Key West, Florida.

    Invasion of Mexico is imminent. And/or Cuba, Grenada, Puerto Rico or Columbia.

    • Rick Merlotti says:

      Don’t forget Venezuela!

      • Barbara Ann says:

        Rick Merlotti

        Re your mention of Venezuela. Gilbert Doctorow added a postscript to his article on Blinken and Lavrov’s Geneva meeting which included a reference to another possible part of Russia’s plan. He cited the presenter of a Russian TV news show “..saying that should the talks fail Russia will start releasing details of its agreements with the presidents of Nicaragua and Venezuela about ‘strategic cooperation'”. Doctorow’s interpretation of this, which seems sensible to me, was that this may be a threat to directly attack the Monroe Doctrine with a re-run of the Cuban Missile Crisis (I guess with Nicaragua or Venezuela). The idea of course would be to expose the hypocrisy of the US denying Russia the ability to deploy nuclear weapons in the America’s, while NATO deployments remain in Russia’s near abroad.

        As a reminder, Article 7 of the draft treaty Russia presented in December starts as follows:

        “The Parties shall refrain from deploying nuclear weapons outside their national territories and return such weapons already deployed outside their national territories at the time of the entry into force of the Treaty to their national territories. The Parties shall eliminate all existing infrastructure for deployment of nuclear weapons outside their national territories”

        Also remember that the resolution to the Cuban Missile Crisis resulted in the withdrawal of MRBM’s deployed in Italy & Turkey.

        I have a feeling the draft treaty’s wording has been specifically crafted with this option in mind – i.e. upon a failure to agree, Putin will point to this as the justification to try the Khrushchev gambit.

  8. Leith says:

    Why show just Klimova and Yelnya? Why not show the other four or five locations close to the RUS/UKR and BLR/UKR borders where there is reported to be a Russian troop buildup?

    Possibly MAXAR stellite coverage is limited due to its orbit? Don’t they have better options than MAXAR in the civilian satellite imagery world? Private satellite companies TerraSAR-X, Orbview, and Worldview deliver high-resolution images in some cases down to half a meter.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      Serious questions, do you see anything in Walrus’ images that suggests a force any bigger than a MEU (excluding the tanks and tank towers, etc)? Would you invade Ukraine with a MEU sized force? I think the Ukr Army is around 255,000 troops.

      Granted the images may be cropped and maybe there are other locations we should be examining. Also, granted I don’t know anything about the Ukr capabilities, or the Russians for that matter. But pencil like thrusts of a MEU sized forces seem to me to be very risky. Each thrust should be easy enough to envelop, stop and destroy, I would think, by a 255K opposing force.

      • Leith says:

        Eric –
        In answer to your specific questions – no of course not. But then I don’t believe Russia will invade the Ukraine, even if they had staged four or five full strength Shock Armies hundreds of times that size.

        But Walrus only shows imagery of two locations, Klimova and Yelnya. So is it only a small sized force? Or bigger?

        Forget Klimova and Yelnya. My question to Walrus yesterday (above) dealt with the other announced locations. Where is the imagery of reported Russian troops near the Ukraine border within the Brest and Rechysta districts of Belarus? Or in Russia itself, where is the imagery of reported close-to-border buildups near Pocheo, Soloti, Boguchar, Perslanovsky, and others? Do those buildups exist? Or are they also phantoms?

        I have no idea of the size of the Ukrainian Army. Your 255 sounds about right. says 150K in their regular Armed Forces with ground troops being the bulk of that. And they are rapidly mobilizing a 130K reserve, but that is poorly trained and lightly armed. I read somewhere else that they would try to use small militia groups. Might work in the Pripet Marshes, but I suspect Gerasimov and the General Staff are too smart to go there.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Ah. I see. I misunderstood you. Seems we are aligned after all. Thanks.

          • Leith says:

            Eric – Aligned in our thinking that Russia will not invade, yes. And I pray we are right.

            But I do think Russia will continue or step up their brand of hybrid warfare on Ukraine. Conduct cyber attacks on infrastructure. Degrade access to energy off and on through the winter. Keep up the pressure by shifting closer and closer to the border in the north, east, and south (from the Crimea) in provocative deployments. Putin’s goals being to show Ukraine that they can never depend on the West; strong arm them into a new more restrictive Minsk Agreement regarding the war in the Donbas; and perhaps get them to react and move Ukrainian Army troops away from current positions in the Donbas thus allowing expansion of the People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. Meanwhile Putin is already doing a heck of good job widening divisions between NATO allies.

          • Leith says:

            Eric – Regarding economic and counter terrorism:

            I believe there has been some Russian/US cooperation on counter-terrorism.
            But you are right, there needs to be more.

            As for economic cooperation, the Census Bureau says we did $27-billion in trade with Russia last year. That’s despite the sanctions. Could be more. But there have been allegations of mistreatment of US investors in Russian companies. I would hope that is due to the oligarchs and not a national policy.

        • walrus says:

          Leith, I am only reporting on what I see in the media. i don’t know how to get other images nor do I have the time to develop a Russian order of battle let alone interpret its changes. We have the I and Pentagon for that.

          I find enough anomalies in the media without going looking for them.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Sure. Putin/Russia may do all those sneaky things to pressure Ukr. It’s understandable why he/they would. Why do we care? What can we even do about it short of war? More sanctions? What’s left to sanction?

            I have believed since the 90s that Russia should be a partner with us in many matters, especially economic and counter terrorism. Why not?

          • Leith says:

            Walrus – My apologies. No slight on you was intended. My original question was rhetorical and directed more to the media, not to you personally.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            A few $billion goes across my desk every year and I’m a peon nobody. $27 billion is chicken feed.

            Of course we cooperate w/ Russia in re; counter terrorism. Russia is a white Christian nation and we used to be and maybe sort of kind of still are a little bit here and there. We have a natural common enemy. I don’t find that aspect of cooperation special. Too bad it can’t be talked about on the mainstream media. The People might feel like Russia is almost ok. Can’t have that.

            We could be much closer to Russia and much more profitable together. IMO, the issue is that Russian experienced socialism and then frontier law by oligarchs and doesn’t want to return to it. We – our elites, that is – are eager to dive into a mix of that head first. The crux – Russia won’t get with the great re-set agenda. They’ve been there and know it’s not good, which pisses off those globalists; that and mercenary mafia like behavior on the part of people like Biden and The Generals – and there’s the deranged genealogical hatred of the Jews comprising various prominent think tanks.

            As far as I can see, this anti-Russia hysteria is all being driven by the human equivalent of what we scrape off the bottom our boots. Maybe there’s something I can’t see. Still waiting for someone to open my eyes.

          • Leith says:

            Eric –

            Russia experienced communism, not socialism. The bolsheviks killed or gulagged all the socialists. It was a socialist who shot Lenin in 1918. Too bad he survived.

            And oligarchs still rule Russia’s businesses, at least those that support Putin. He locked up the others, or they fled overseas. But the Ukraine is just as rife with oligarchs as Russia, hich is why they will never get in the EU.

            By the way, it was Biden back a decade or so ago who pushed to get Russia into the World Trade Organization. They had been waiting 18 years for membership, and yet the norm is only about five years after application. Biden strong-armed Georgia to drop their objections to Russia’s entry.



          • Pat Lang says:

            Leith Communism is one variety of socialism.

          • Leith says:

            Colonel –

            Yes, a deviant variety some say. IMHO the communist Soviets were much more ‘state capitalists’ than socialists.

            Kerensky was a socialist. He was lucky to escape bolshie execution and ended up in the US working for the conservative Hoover Institution.

  9. d74 says:

    Every time I look in the mirror, I tell myself that the reflection is lying.
    Arranged photos are even more deceitful.

    Perhaps infrared images and images of field hospital close to future fighting are less lying.

    Look for tented hospital and warmth.

  10. mcohen says:

    Ukraine the great misdirection.

  11. Jose says:

    Walrus, it’s a “Wag The Dog” moment to distract from all the mess in the USA plus the fact we are sending a fifty-five member delegation to the Genocide Olympics.

  12. In 2015 Senator Inhofe was duped by Ukrainian delegation which showed his photos of “Russian invasion” of Ukraine which… well, read yourself:

    The ‘exclusive’ photos of ‘Russian invasion in Ukraine’ in 2014 turned out to be easily found in the Web, with at least one of them dating back to 2008. Now, US senator James Inhofe is furious with the Ukrainian delegation for setting him up with the ‘evidence’.

    I will omit for now discussing a strong Ukrainian element present in the US foreign policy and national security apparatus who have a major influence on already feeble and incompetent decision making. So, “duping” will continue. Expect more of “satellite” images and a lot of “experts” in MSM. Such as this “expert”

    This is the “level” of US military “expert”.

    • Philip Owen says:

      I remember combine harvesters featuring as tanks in 2014. The Ukrainians were using really cheap low resolution images as passing them to NATO as anything they cared to imagine. (The NATO secretariat does not have its own intelligence capability so they relied totally on Ukraine).

  13. I suspect the most important factor has to do with the Fed and interest rates. It seems like it’s seriously starting to dawn on people that they have truly painted themselves in a corner, given the degree to which the economy has become addicted to cheap debt. They will find it easier to accept bread at $10, than pulling the plug on the debt.
    This is the story they are trying to hide and it will become evident by spring. By which time, our foreign policy will be looking like a lot of hot air, when this turns out to be a nothingburger, because it is a distraction and the Russians, the Ukrainians, the Europeans and the Chinese know this.
    Like old fashioned magic tricks, look in the other direction from where they are pointing.

  14. FkDahl says:

    I stumbled upon this song that I found appropriate. Hope you enjoy it

  15. York says:

    Really favors a reserve call up. Disused airstrip, useful for landing STOL aircraft, looks rough but the Russkies are known for rough and ready landing gear. Lacks hangars of tactical revetments. Appears some old bunkers to the North of the cantonment area. Nothing in the way of hardened emplacements. Staging area for support troops perhaps. Not seeing much of a rail line, but would assume that the fogged over access from the north would be some kind of a gauge track. Again, Russkies love their trains. The berms used are temporary for use in staging. This is close to the border as well. Easily within the range of heavy weapons and indirect fire.

    I’d say Ivan isn’t overly concerned about the Ukies.

  16. Deap says:

    The power of altered imagery – a prankster has fun changing the background scenes in Nancy Pelosi’s re-election announcement video:

    “Hi, this is Nancy….” ……. more introduction is obviously not necessary, especially since the name Pelosi is now so toxic.

    Underscoring again the power of flattering lighting in these studio takes – 2 for 2 – making both bio-mort cadavers Biden and Pelosi still look vital and pink-cheeked for the masses.

  17. Sam says:

    Russia says even idea of war with Ukraine is ‘unacceptable’

    This was always a hoax. The only questions we should ask are why the hoax? Why now?

    We know that this is SOP for the Deep State Borg both in the US and UK when they want to push an agenda. What we can only speculate now is what that agenda is.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      Why the hysteria over a potential invasion of Ukraine now? Good question. As Col. Lang has suggested, both the US & UK governments have good reasons to distract the public from the dismal domestic performances of their leaders. Note also that the Russian draft treaty (link in my comment above & repeated below) makes no mention of “Ukraine” or even of “NATO”, the only parties mentioned are the US & RF. This fact alone may be another reason to focus the public’s attention on Ukraine – i.e. to avoid any discussion of Russia’s (legitimate) concerns over nuclear weapons stationed in non-nuclear third party (NATO) states in Eastern Europe. Weapons whose sole purpose is to threaten the USSR – oops – Russia.

      The treaty is a jaw dropping read. It represents an ultimatum for the US to end its ‘containment’ strategy against Russia and to retreat to within its own borders. If implemented, NATO would to all intents and purposes become a European only mutual defense org. It’s a shame the draft treaty didn’t arrive while the last occupant of the WH was in power.

      A third reason for the 100% media focus on ‘invasion’ & total lack even of an acknowledgment of Russia’s position (Tucker Carlson excepted) is the very fact that this “gas station masquerading as a country” has had the temerity to make demands on the exceptional nation & world’s sole hyperpower. Defeated foes (Cold War) with second rate militaries are not supposed to retain the ability to threaten the US. Recognizing the fact that this is exactly what has happened would raise awkward questions, to say the least.

  18. Deap says:

    So confusing. Russians can’t invade until the ground freezes up to support their heavy tanks. But Democrats claim global warming is melting the tundra so this will never happen.

    And now there are only 9 years left before mass extinction anyway. So why waste our final days sweating out Ukraine anyway.

    • different clue says:

      I am just an amateur science buff, but to the best of my limited understanding I think that the two issues of the ground in Ukraine freezing enough to support heavy tanks versus melting of the tundra are two separate issues happening in two separate geographic regions with no zone of geographic overlap between the regions.

      The Ukraine has never had any permafrost during the span of human historical time.
      It gets cold enough in most winters to freeze the soil hard enough for several feet deep that heavy tanks can run over it during the deep winter. But that was never permafrost because it does not remain permanently frozen over the whole year, and never did.

      The “tundra melting” being referred to is the recently-beginning summer thawdown-meltdown of the surface layer of the permafrost in those High Arctic regions where permafrost in fact existed. Russia had built a lot of buildings, roads, pipelines, etc. in its permafrost zone on the understanding that the permafrost would remain permafrosty so as to perma-support that infrastructure.

      But just lately a higher-than-traditional level of heat buildup in-around Russia’s Arctic regions has been seasonally thawing the surface of the built-upon permafrost enough to damage those buildings and that infrastructure. Here is an article about that problem.

      Now . . . if in fact that article is fake news which has been planted by a Democratic Party operative under Reuters cover, then we really need to know about that. Any evidence of that being the case should be presented to us, no matter how painful we may find it to be.

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