Russian troops move close to Polish border in Belarus

Wojtek Jargiło/PAP

A Russian airborne detachment has been deployed to the Belarusian city of Brest, near the Polish border, the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), an organisation tracking Russian military movements, has reported.

CIT, which analyses online recordings of Russian military movements, said a Russian airborne battalion had been sent to the city, which is also 50km north of the Ukrainian border.

Belarusian defence ministry pictures confirmed the presence in Belarus of the commander of the 217th Airborne Regiment of the Russian Army.

According to an investigation conducted jointly by CIT and Russia's Radio Free Europe since the first week of January, Russia has started to move units from the Eastern Military District to the west of the country. The experts have highlighted the transfer of up to half the military potential sited in Russia's far east. Some of the relocated forces have been moved to Belarus while the remainder's positions are unknown.

Analyses posted on social media show that soldiers have been sent to regions bordering Ukraine.

"The territory of Belarus must be taken into account as a potential place from which Russia could launch aggression against Ukraine," the Ukrainian Army wrote in a statement.