New satellite imagery shows several large deployments of ground forces and rotary-wing aircraft in southern Belarus, roughly 20 miles from the Ukrainian border and less than 100 miles from Kyiv, the capital of the besieged nation.
The images, shared Friday by Maxar Technologies, show nearly 150 ground attack and transport helicopters in total.
One large helicopter grouping was spotted near the Belarussian town of Chojniki and contains more than 90 helicopters parked on a road with the deployment extending for more than five miles, according to Maxar’s images.
“Northeast of the town, a large deployment of ground forces with several hundred vehicles is seen in convoy position in several fields,” Maxar senior director Stephen A. Wood said in an email accompanying the images.
Another group of more than 50 helicopters, alongside support troops and equipment, was spotted roughly 40 miles away at the V.D. Bokov airfield near Mazyr, Belarus, Wood added.
“The enemy identified me as the number one target, and my family as the number two target,” Zelensky said in one video address. “They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state.”
Zelenskyy and his cabinet have urged the West to sanction the Russian economy more aggressively and to send more arms to Ukraine, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry.
The senior U.S. defense official said Ukrainian air defenses have been degraded but are still operating.
The Ukrainian government reported roughly 140 deaths on their side, while claiming to have killed hundreds of Russian troops and destroying dozens of Russian aircraft and tanks.
The Kremlin has not disclosed casualty figures, and it has not yet been possible to verify the tolls on either side.