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Russia Slams NATO Drills In Western Ukraine

  • RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

Russia says ongoing military exercises involving NATO countries in western Ukraine are "of provocative nature."

The Russian envoy to NATO, Aleksandr Grushko, said on July 21 that the maneuvers "disrupt" the process of implementing the Minsk agreement signed in February and aimed at putting an end to fighting between government forces and Russian-backed separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine's Defense Ministry says some 2,000 troops are involved in the exercises, dubbed Rapid Trident 2015, which was launched at the Yavoriv military training field in the Lviv region on July 20.

Almost 800 Ukrainian soldiers, more than 500 U.S. troops, and 700 other servicemen from 16 other countries are taking part in the drills that are expected to last until August 1.

The maneuvers also involve armored personnel carriers, helicopters, and other military hardware.

With reporting by Interfax