World Ukraine rehearses repelling tank attack near Russian-annexed Crimea
Biden's tough on Putin rhetoric fails the Ukraine reality test
The threat of conflict is the ultimate test of a nation's commitment to its word. In Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is showing President Joe Biden's word to be wanting.This will be news to some.
KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine's armed forces rehearsed repelling a tank and infantry attack near the border of Russian-annexed Crimea on Wednesday, the Ukrainian military said in a statement.
The drills came a day after U.S. President Joe Biden phoned Russian President Vladimir to discuss a build-up of Russian troops near eastern Ukraine and in Crimea, among other U.S. concerns.
Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and fighting has increased in recent weeks in eastern Ukraine, where government forces have battled Russian-backed separatists in a seven-year conflict that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people.
Russian forces are massing on Ukraine's border. Bluff or not, Putin is playing with fire
For an army given to masking its moves, surely the worst way to disguise a potential imminent invasion of a country is by overtly preparing for it. © Maxar Technologies A satellite view of the Pogonovo training area in Russia's Voronezh region, close to the Ukrainian border. This is the paradox around Russia's visible buildup in its west, not far from the Ukrainian border. Were Moscow trying to reverse the military stalemate around the Donbas separatist region -- that it truncated from Ukraine in 2014 -- would it want to telegraph its moves so blatantly? Russia's signals are obvious.
The Ukrainian military said it had deployed tanks and artillery in Wednesday's drills to practice repelling a force of tanks and infantry trying to break through its defences.
It posted video footage, set to rock music, of Ukrainian tanks manoeuvring in formation and of soldiers loading and firing artillery pieces.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that Moscow's military build-up near Ukraine was part of a large snap drill meant to test combat readiness and respond to what he called threatening military action by NATO.
Shoigu said that the three-week exercise, which he called successful, was due to wrap up in the next two weeks.
Shoigu said NATO was deploying 40,000 troops and 15,000 pieces of military equipment near Russia's borders, mainly in the Black Sea and the Baltic regions.
The Western alliance denies any such plans.
(Reporting by Matthias Williams, Natalia Zinets and Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
EXPLAINER: What's behind the conflict in eastern Ukraine? .
MOSCOW (AP) — Tensions are rising over the conflict in eastern Ukraine, with growing violations of a cease-fire and a massive Russian military buildup near its border with the region. Ukraine and the West have become worried about the Russian troops' concentration and have urged Moscow to pull them back. Russia has argued that it's free to deploy its forces on its territory and sternly warned the government in Kyiv against using force to reclaim control of the rebel-held territory east where more than 14,000 people have died in seven years of fighting. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Dec.