BRUSSELS, April 11 (UPI) -- NATO satellite photos show over 40,000 Russian troops, and military equipment including tanks and aircraft, massed along the Russian border with Ukraine, NATO said.
Release of the photographs Thursday in Brussels came after repeated assurances from Moscow the troop build-up is no cause for alarm.
The satellite intelligence comes after pro-Russian protesters seized government buildings in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk and demanded a referendum on joining the Russian Federation. Surveys in Donetsk, however, indicated residents had little interest in annexation by Russia.
A survey conducted Mar. 26 to 29 in conjunction with Donetsk National University showed fewer than 27 percent of respondents approved of the building seizures and only 4.7 percent sought separation from Ukraine. Similarly, a Gallup survey, conducted with the International Republican Institute and released last week, found only four percent of respondents favored secession.