Russia, Ukraine step up military alert with combat drills
Russia has staged military drills in the Black Sea, south of Ukraine, and said it needed to sharpen the combat-readiness of its conventional and nuclear forces because of heightened NATO activity near its borders.
Ukraine, which with its ally the United States has said it believes Russia may be preparing an invasion, staged exercises of its own near the border with Belarus.
The increase of military activity on both sides follows weeks of rising tension that have raised the risk of war between the two neighbours, even though Russia denies aggressive intent and Western intelligence sources have told the Reuters news agency they do not see any invasion as imminent.
The US and NATO have signalled their backing for Ukraine in ways that Moscow considers provocative, including through warship manoeuvres this month in the Black Sea and a delivery of US patrol boats to the Ukrainian navy.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told Reuters on Wednesday it would be “a grave mistake from Russia” to attack Ukraine.
Credit: Aljazeera.comShare on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest