News that Russia is building a military base near the Ukrainian border shows the President Putin led Kremlin is preparing for a prolonged standoff with its Ukrainian counterpart according to experts.
According to documents obtained by the media, the base will contain barracks for 3,500 soldiers; ammunition depots for artillery, rockets, and other munitions; a 50 bed infirmary capable of being expanded in case of a "massive influx of wounded"; and even a barber shop, swimming pool and skating rink.
Local resident Alexander Panchenko, whose home overlooks the construction site said "They are building a military town."
Reporters who approached the site earlier this week were told by workmen erecting a fence to mark off the construction area, which is only 15 miles from the Ukrainian border, to leave the area, and accused them of being spies.
The Russian Defense Ministry has not commented on media questions about the base and whether it had any connection with the Ukraine conflict.
Russia has been accused by NATO in the past of using temporary bases to send soldiers and munitions to support pro-Russian separatists into Ukraine, a charge which Russia denies.
Documents published on the Russian government website zakupki.gov.ru, show the military base is being built on a 300-hectare site near the town of Valuyki, with the initial construction phase being completed in April, 2016.
A representative of the Federal Agency for Special Construction which manages Russian defense installation projects, would not answer reporters questions about the work at the site, saying only that it was "a secret facility."
Experts say that because Russia is no longer a member of the treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe, which limits the deployment of troops in Europe, it is able to move any amount of troops and weapons to its Western border.
Although fighting between Ukraine forces and Russia has died down and there is a truce in affect, its longevity is under threat as both sides have not reached an agreement on the withdrawal of troops and weapons from disputed areas.