In what is likely to be seen as a show of defiance against the West, the Russian Defence Ministry has announced that fresh military operations are to take place on the borders of Ukraine.
According to Reuters, Moscow has already dispatched six Su-27 jet fighters and three military transport planes to Belarus, while more than 8,500 artillery men are heading south to take part in exercises on Ukraine's southeast border.
The manoeuvres, which come amid heightened tensions over Russia’s intervention in Crimea and the referendum of the region’s proposed cessation from Kiev, were announced on Thursday, despite please in recent days from world leaders for Moscow to abandon its foray west.
On Thursday morning, German Chancellor Angela Merkel followed President Obama in warning of severe diplomatic and economic sanctions should it continue on its path to annexe the southern region of Ukraine.
According to the Russian military, operations involving armoured and airborne troops will take place in the regions on the border of Ukraine, areas that have been vocal in their admonishment of the protests that led to the establishment of an interim government in the neighbouring country following the flight of president Yanukovych.
The move follows a similar deployment by NATO on the western border of Ukraine, where fighter jets and surveillance planes have been taking part in exercises as efforts to reach a diplomatic solution continue to evade politicians.
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