Russia has announced large-scale air defense exercises along its Ukraine border. The move is being perceived as a show of strength by Moscow, and is likely to further raise tensions in the region.
Russia has announced large-scale air defense exercises along its Ukraine border. The new military drills will involve around 100 aircraft, and will be staged from Monday through to Friday this week, a Russian air force spokesman told the Interfax news agency.
Air force spokesman Igor Klimov told AFP the drills were “a routine event.” He said they were not related to the ongoing conflict between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
During the drills, the military will conduct missile launches and test aircraft weapons against land and air targets, he added.
NATO military commander General Philip Breedlove said last week there were still more than 12,000 Russian troops and weapons along the border.
Pro-Russian separatists fighting in eastern Ukraine appear to have lost ground against government forces in recent weeks, while Russia has a firm hold on Crimea, which it annexed in March.
Full artilce: Russia launches huge air defense exercises close to Ukraine (Deutsche Welle)