In what would constitute a massive escalation in hostilities, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released satellite imagery showing that Russian forces are now firing artillery directly at Ukrainian forces from across the Russian border.
Previously, Russia had been content to supply Ukrainian rebels with arms to include what is believed by Western powers to be a BUK Surface to Air Missile which was allegedly used to shoot down Malaysian Air Flight 17 (MH17).
The statement from the ODNI reads as follows:
“The following images provide evidence that Russian forces have fired across the border at Ukrainian military forces, and that Russia-backed separatists have used heavy artillery, provided by Russia, in attacks on Ukrainian forces from inside Ukraine.”
What’s more, per ABC News, additional observations are leading U.S. Intelligence officials to predict that Russian artillery will soon be moving across the border into Ukraine. Russia has already been repeatedly accused of supplying troops to Ukrainian rebels and Russian troops continue to buildup on the Russia/Ukraine border to the tune of approximately 12,000 soldiers at last count.
What’s truly revealing however is that the Russian government must know that U.S. satellites can see what they’re doing and that they would definitely be watching. If Putin doesn’t even care to engage in plausible deniability about Russia’s aid to rebel forces in eastern Ukraine, if Russia is now engaging directly, then this conflict may be on the move from low level proxy battle to full on Russian invasion of rebel held areas.