Now it doesn’t take a military genius to know that once you’ve invaded a country, you’ve then got the challenge of supplying your invasion forces. With that in mind, and giving us an insight into Russia’s advance invasion planning, here we look at its GIANT, military supply depot at Russkoye.
Scroll down to watch my short YouTube video on this depot.
Note: The land shown between the two orange lines, indicates the 409km of Ukraine’s eastern border, which Russia currently controls. This was captured by Sept 2014.
Located in Russia’s Rostov Oblast (province), Russkoye is nothing more than a small village, some 15km from Ukrainian – Russian border. However, for logistical purposes, its location is right in the middle of the Russian controlled Ukrainian border. This means, the depot can supply both its military forces, in around Ukraine’s cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.
The additional bonus is, supply columns and combat forces entering Ukraine, can use the nearby Ukrainian border crossing at Marynivka. Due the difficulty of gaining access to this remote crossing and time spent travelling back and forth, OSCE monitors rarely spend much time at Marynivka. When they do visit, Russian military simply stop using the crossing, for the approx. 30 minutes, which the OSCE usually attend.
As the below 3D Google Earth image shows, to avoid prying eyes, the depot is screened by ridges. Satellite images here are from Oct 2016 and show its full size, equating to 6 full sized football pitches. Established in August 2014, it replaced a nearby depot at Olkhovskiy, this smaller one having been built in July 2014, to supply initial invasion forces. Indicating the fierce fighting in Ukraine and the large numbers of Russian military involved, early 2015, saw Russkoye depot almost double in size.
Thankfully, in 2014 – 2016, the Kremlin was extremely naive about the risks of social media. Russian soldiers simply clicked away, posting pictures of military sites like Russkoye in Russia and of themselves in Ukraine. The below photo shows Russkoye at its busiest in 2015, with large numbers of cargo trucks present.
Taken from a hill, this view matches that of the previous satellite image. Shows the main road and gate into the depot and parking areas. Military supplies are behind the trucks, in the middle distance.
From the two photos below, you get a sense of just how much ammunition and military supplies the depot holds. We are talking, stacks of green crates numbering hundreds of thousands, the cost of which to Russian tax payers must be eye-watering. For more photos and info on them, please visit the good people at Inform Napalm.
Oct 2016 satellite image below shows the main gate, and enormous stacks of green crates. Depot is still in use today and I soon hope to bring you some more recent images.
Oct 2016 Sat image, looking roughly south. Down by the River Mius, in the woods, these buildings were constructed as barracks and depot facilities. Replaced earlier tents.