- Russia’s President Putin oversaw exercises by the country’s military to check the “readiness” of troops.
- The exercises included ballistic and cruise missile tests, the Russian defence ministry said.
- Western leaders believe that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could come in the next few days.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw exercises by the country’s military on Saturday as fears of an invasion of an invasion of Ukraine continue to grow.
In a statement, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that Putin oversaw a series of tests “during which ballistic and cruise missiles were launched.”
The statement also explained that the exercises checked the “readiness” of “military command and control bodies, launch combat crews, crews of warships and strategic missile carriers to perform the assigned tasks, as well as the reliability of the weapons of strategic nuclear and non-nuclear forces.”
Involved in the tests were Russia’s “Aerospace Forces, the Southern Military District, the Strategic Missile Forces, [and] the Northern and Black Sea Fleets.”
The exercises come as tensions between Moscow and the West ramp up amid fears of an imminent invasion of Ukraine.
Russia has massed troops close to the Ukrainian border, but said earlier this week that it was withdrawing some forces from the area. The US and NATO rejected this assertion, and Russia now has almost 200,000 troops at or close to the border, estimates suggest.
On Friday, President Biden said that there is a “very high” risk of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in the next few days.
“My sense is this will happen in the next several days,” Biden told reporters outside the White House on Thursday.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Ukrainian President Zelensky in Munich Saturday, and a read-out of the conversation sent to journalists said that: “The leaders agreed that any further Russian incursion into Ukraine would be a profound miscalculation which would be met with fierce resistance from Ukraine.”
They also agreed, the readout said, that “there was still time for President Putin to choose the path of peace and diplomacy.”