Russian troops have painted “invasion strips” on their tanks as fears grow that Vladimir Putin is going to order an invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian president has reportedly deployed another 30,000 troops on the Ukrainian border with tensions escalating.
A local in the Russian Astrakhan region, 350 miles from the border, filmed the BTR 80 Armoured vehicles with white crosses painted on them.
The tanks were reportedly spotted heading in a convoy to the railway station on Wednesday.
Military experts say similar white markings were used by the Soviet Army during the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
The stripes were said to help identify vehicles to friendly troops.
Russia will soon have a staggering assault force of more than 100,000 troops along with tanks and other armoured vehicles at Ukraine’s border.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, accused Russia or “openly threatening” Ukraine with “destruction” by stationing troops along its border.
He said: “The world is on the side of Ukraine and international law, and this is one of the elements of restraining Russia from reckless actions.”
The politician spoke as it was revealed that the US had U-turned on a decision to send two warships into the Black Sea, a day after Russia warned them to stay away “for their own good”.
A heightening in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in the last six weeks has led to fears of an all-out war.
Moscow and Kiev have accused each other of causing an escalation in violence.
US President Joe Biden has offered his “unwavering support” to Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken threatened Russia would face “consequences” should it act “recklessly or aggressively”.
Russia says the build-up of troops is a three-week snap military drill to test combat readiness in response to threats from NATO.
Russia has already sent 15 warships to Ukraine and staged live-fire-drills, with a leaked Ukrainian government report says Russia is set to deploy 30,000 more troops to border after amassing 80,000 soldiers in the region.
Relations between the countries have been poor since 2014 following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and its backing of Ukrainian separatist fighters.
The huge number of troops deployed represents at least 35,000 more Russian frontline troops than the entire British Army.
Meanwhile, former US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has predicted a terrifying vision of the future should the USA choose to intervene in the conflict in Eastern Europe.
She was insistent that President Biden must avoid war with Russia at all costs as it will “bring about the end of the world as we know it”.
“If he doesn’t it will not be a question of if we go to war with Russia, if we end up with a nuclear holocaust, but a matter of when…and it could be a lot quicker than any of us imagine,” she said.