Satellite images show that Russia has shifted military aircraft to Crimea and bases near Ukraine to a larger degree than has already been disclosed.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Su-30 fighter planes, visible at a Crimean air base in an April 16 image, had not been in that location late last month.
"Other Russian military units on the Crimean peninsula include airborne troops, motorized rifle and armored units, attack helicopters, smoke generators, reconnaissance drones, jamming equipment and a military hospital, the photos indicate," the outlet noted.
U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan is heading home to America this week for consultations.
"I believe it is important for me to speak directly with my new colleagues in the Biden administration in Washington about the current state of bilateral relations between the United States and Russia," Sullivan said in a statement. "Also, I have not seen my family in well over a year, and that is another important reason for me to return home for a visit. I will return to Moscow in the coming weeks before any meeting between Presidents Biden and Putin."
The announcement comes as the two nations have recently announced actions against each other and as Russia has suggested that the U.S. ambassador depart for consultations — last week President Biden announced several actions against Russia for meddling in the 2020 presidential election and for the SolarWind hack, and Russia has retaliated.
Last month Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov was "invited to come to Moscow for consultations conducted with the aim of analyzing what should be done and where to go in the context of ties with the United States," the Russian Foreign Ministry noted in a statement.