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Russia Starts Military Drills On Ukraine’s Border, In Annexed Crimea

Moscow has launched large-scale military drills on Ukraine's eastern border and around Ukraine’s Russia-annexed Crimean Peninsula.

The Russian Defense Ministry said September 5 that 12,500 servicemen are taking part in the drills across its southern military region. It said the Russian Navy in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea are participating in the exercises and that planes also are being used.

The six-day exercises will test the army's ability to "plan, prepare, and carry out military actions," the ministry said in a statement.

Russia last month conducted a large-scale snap drill, putting its troops on full combat readiness in military districts bordering Ukraine and the Baltic states.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine spiked over the summer after Moscow accused Kyiv of attempting armed incursions into Russia-annexed Crimea.

Ukraine and its Western allies have been locked in a confrontation with Russia since Moscow forcibly seized the region from Kyiv in March 2014.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters