Russia announces military exercises amid standoff with US, NATO over Ukraine
Russia on Tuesday announced new military exercises amid a standoff with the U.S. and NATO over Ukraine, which Western officials have warned Russia not to invade.
The newest Russian military drills include short-range ballistic missile units and are being conducted in the western region of Russia, The New York Times reported.
Russia’s military district in the area said the exercises were meant “to comprehensively check forces’ combat skills,” The Washington Post reported.
The announcement of the new drills came as a response after Pentagon press secretary John Kirby on Monday announced that about 8,500 U.S. military personnel have been put “on a heightened preparedness to deploy” in the event “NATO should activate the [NATO Response Force] or if other situations develop.”
Russia’s action was also a response to added fighter jets and other ships being deployed by NATO, according to the Times.
“We are observing these actions of the United States with profound concern,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said Tuesday, according to multiple reports.
The latest drills come amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine as the U.S. and other nations voice concern about Russia potentially invading the former Soviet Union state.
Tens of thousands of troops have been amassed by Russia near the Ukrainian border.
The Biden administration has signaled its support for sending troops to nearby countries, though lawmakers have pressed the administration to send more military aid to Ukraine as well.
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