Russia launches military preparedness drill

Russia has launched a military preparedness drill that includes moving troops in Siberia and the Urals to other locations, a military official said on Friday.

Moscow: Russia has launched a military preparedness drill that includes moving troops in Siberia and the Urals to other locations, a military official said on Friday.

"Some motorised and air defence groups located in the Urals and Western Siberia have been put on alert and have begun multi-kilometre marches... to destination areas," said the assistant commander of Russia`s central military district Yaroslav Roshchupkin, Russian agencies reported.

He did not specify where the troops were being moved, but said that the exercise was "comprehensive check of the troops` military preparedness."

The news comes after NATO Thursday reported a build-up of Russian forces near Ukraine`s border and follows a late-night meeting of the Russian security council where President Vladimir Putin discussed the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Russia`s RBK news agency quoted a source in the defence ministry Thursday as saying that troops are being pulled toward the Ukrainian border along with field hospitals and fuelling equipment and were prepared to enter Ukraine`s insurgent Donetsk and Lugansk regions in order to "put up barriers between the civilian population and the Ukrainian army."

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