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Russia to hold paratrooper drills near Ukrainian border - Ifax

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By Reuters

<div> <p><span class="caps">MOSCOW</span> – Hundreds of Russian paratroopers will hold drills near the Ukrainian border this week, the Interfax news agency quoted Russia’s defence ministry as saying on Thursday, amid a standoff between Moscow and the West over Kyiv’s <span class="caps">NATO</span> aspirations.</p> <p>Some 1,200 troops and over 250 vehicles and aircraft will be involved in the exercise that will be split between training grounds in Crimea – which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 – and the nearby Krasnodar province.</p> <p>Interfax quoted the ministry as saying that the troops would simulate capturing an area as part of an offensive operation.</p> <p>Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops at staging posts close to Ukraine and demanded that its southern neighbour not be admitted to <span class="caps">NATO</span> and that no offensive weapons be deployed there or in other neighbouring countries.</p> <p/> </div>