Russia has increased its military hardware at its strategic Hmeimim airbase in Syria, and bolstered naval activity, in conjunction with its controversial movements in Ukraine.

Open source reports and tweets from the Russian ministry of defence suggest that hypersonic missiles and strategic bombers have been sent to the Hmeimim in Latakia province.

Russia has also boosted its naval forces, with more ships, submarines, and strengthened coastal defences in the eastern Mediterranean, where the Russian-owned Syrian port of Tartous is located, as President Vladimir Putin ordered an effective invasion of Ukraine.

As global eyes look worriedly in Ukraine, build-ups in Syria, and movements from the eastern Mediterranean, are also highlighting links between current events in Eastern Europe and Russia's involvement in Syria.

Read the article with comments from me about the connection between the conflict in Ukraine and how the Kremlin is using its bases in Syria to strengthen its position in eastern Ukraine and Crimea: