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Russia holds military drills in Crimea


08-21-2016 12:34 BJT

Russian troops have completed drills in Crimea amid tensions with Ukraine. The training exercise by naval and land forces was undertaken after Moscow accused Kiev of sending saboteurs into the contested peninsula to carry out a series of bombings. Kiev denied the allegations.

The 5-day exercises aimed to train troops on how to destroy saboteur groups and how to repel underwater attacks. More than 2,000 troops, with up to 350 armoured vehicles, participated. Vessels from Russia's Black Sea Fleet also took part.

"It looks like our partners in Kiev made a decision to escalate the situation and it's clear why they are doing it: because they don't want to or can't, for some reason, comply with the Minsk accords, as well as can't explain their failures in social and economic policy to their own people. We are not going to cut off our relations with Ukraine despite the current Kiev authorities' reluctance to have complete diplomatic relations on the level of ambassadors. We, nevertheless, are keeping the possibility for developing our relations further," said Putin.

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