Ukraine starts army drills as Russian military guards border with Crimea

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Ukrainian soldiers and a Ukrainian army tank stand just inside the gate at a Ukrainian military base that was surrounded by several hundred Russian-speaking soldiers in Crimea. Photo: Getty Images Ukraine began military drills as Russian forces tightened their hold on the Crimean peninsula and the Foreign Ministry in Moscow warned of “lawlessness” in the former Soviet republic’s eastern provinces. Ukraine’s armed forces are testing the combat-readiness of troops, the Defence Ministry said today on its website, reiterating the government’s desire for a peaceful end to the standoff in Crimea. Russia, which has vowed to defend the ethnic Russians that dominate Crimea after an uprising in Kiev,…

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