Russia-Ukraine: military exercises and cross accusations of attacks

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Russia carried out this Saturday “successfully” a series of scheduled ballistic exercises alongside Belarus, hours after the US warned it was ‘convinced’ of an imminent invasion of Ukraine and amid cross-accusations of attacks between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists to the East.

The Kremlin said the strategic exercises conducted under the supervision of President Vladimir Putin involved firing of “cruise and ballistic missiles”.

“The objectives planned during the exercises of the strategic deterrent forces have been successfully achieved. All missiles hit established targets,” the Russian presidency said in a statement.

Russian state television broadcast footage of Putin sitting next to his Belarusian counterpart and ally Alexander Lukashenko, listening in a crisis room to reports from his generals via videoconference.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigou said the exercises involved the firing of “Kinjal” hypersonic ballistic missiles and “Zircon” hypersonic cruise missiles.

These are new Russian weapons that Putin recently called “invincible”the news agency said AFP.

These exercises took place hours after US President Joe Biden assured that Moscow “has already made the decision” to invade Ukraine in the next “week” or “days” and has warned that he would seek to create “a false justification” for the attack.

Charges rejected by the Kremlin, which for its part denounced hostile NATO activities near its territory and demanded guarantees that it would not continue its expansion towards its borders.

Russia assures that its troops on the border with Ukraine are retreating, which the Western powers do not believe.

The Ukrainian armed forces and pro-Russian separatists once again accuse each other of new attacks and violations of the ceasefire in the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, where a conflict has been raging since 2014 that has claimed more than 14,000 dead.

Kiev reported this Saturday on a soldier killed “following a bombardment”but indicated that its armed forces “have the situation under control and continue to carry out their mission to repel and contain the armed aggression of the Russian Federation”.

For their part, the leaders of the separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, where the front line that divides Ukraine is located, today ordered general mobilization, after announcing the evacuation of civilians on Friday.

Over the past few hours, more than 10,000 people have crossed the border into Russia, a source told the news agency. Sputnik.

Russia denies any involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, calling it an internal Ukrainian affair.

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