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Ukraine: Russia and Belarus hold joint military exercises

The military drills, called “Allied Resolve-2022,” began in Belarus and will end February 20, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced Thursday in a statement.

“The purpose of the exercise is to work out the tasks of suppressing and repelling external aggression while conducting a defensive operation, countering terrorism and protecting the interests of the Union State,” the statement said.

Moscow’s deployment into Belarus is believed to be its biggest there since the Cold War, with “an expected 30,000 combat troops, Spetsnaz special operation forces, fighter jets including SU-35, Iskander dual-capable missiles and S-400 air defense systems,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said last Thursday.

The United States has also expressed concerns about the buildup of Russian troops in Belarus, a close ally of Russia.

Russia has repeatedly denied it is planning to attack Ukraine,…

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