Tehran (IP) - Satellite images provided by MAXAR, a US-based satellite company, show a massive build-up of Russian aircraft at the Engels-2 airport, which lies around 700km from the Ukrainian border inside Russia.

Iran PressEurope: A massive build-up of Russia's long-range Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombers which are capable of carrying missiles equipped with nuclear warheads, has been spotted at the Engels-2 airport.

As UK Daily Mirror reported, Russia is also amassing cruise missiles for an "imminent large-scale attack," analysts claim.

Experts believe the amount of aircraft on the tarmac is unusual and could indicate a looming attack.

Military analyst Arda Mevlutoglu told the German publication Spiegel: "The unusually high number of bombers on the tarmac is an indication of an increase in operations, if not an imminent large-scale attack."

Besides, the long-distance bombers sit several fuel tankers and ammunition boxes.

Several wheel loaders are also used to transport the X-55 and X-101 cruise missiles, with a range of 2,500km and capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Russia has been using cruise missiles to attack Ukrainian targets from Russian soil - which keeps their launchers out of reach of Ukraine's anti-aircraft defenses.

The looming attack comes after a report analyzed Russia's embarrassing performance since the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War.

Russian forces advance in the east while putting Ukraine South under heavy fire

Russian forces have tried to advance in eastern Ukraine and trained tank, mortar, and artillery fire on Kherson in the south.

In the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, the site of the heaviest fighting, Russian forces tried to make further advances and shelled several towns, including Bakhmut and nearby Soledar and Opytne, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in a Wednesday night statement.

On the southern front, it said Russian forces took up defensive positions and trained tank, mortar, and artillery fire on Ukrainian positions and the regional capital of Kherson, abandoned by Russian troops earlier in November.

Another battleground activity was reported in northeastern and central Ukraine, the military said.

On Wednesday, Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said his country needed US-made Patriot missile defense systems to protect its civilian infrastructure, which has been under heavy attack by Russia at the start of winter.

Ukraine's military said on Thursday Russia had pulled some troops from towns on the opposite bank of the Dnipro River from Kherson city, the first official Ukrainian report of a Russian withdrawal on what is now the central front line in the south.

Ukrainian officials also stressed that Russia had intensified shelling across the river, knocking out power again in Kherson. Nearly three weeks after Russian troops vacated the city and fled across the river, electricity had only begun to be restored.

Since Russia abandoned Kherson last month, nine months into its invasion of Ukraine, the river now forms the entire southern stretch of the front.


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