You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Joint military drills begin in Ukraine as Russian war games

AFP  |  Kiev 

Ukraine today launched joint military exercises with the United States and a host of other countries as its bitter rival gears up for its own war games on the border.

The annual Rapid Trident military exercises, taking place in the western Ukrainian city of Yavoriv until September 23, involve an "unprecedented" number of 2,500 soldiers from 15 countries, the Ukrainian military said in a statement.


"Today, your support is very important for us. The experience of our colleagues is extremely valuable for the Ukrainian army," Colonel Sergei Litvinov, the exercises co- director on the Ukrainian side, said.

The Ukraine drills began days ahead of Moscow's massive military exercise "Zapad 2017" ("West") in neighbouring and Belarus.

The event has caused alarm in the Baltic states and Poland and drawn criticism from the United States and for a lack of transparency.

has said the exercises will involve about 12,700 Russian and Belarusian troops and are "purely defensive" in nature, but critics say there could be as many as 1,00,000 soldiers taking part.

has also deployed about 1,000 soldiers in each of the Baltic states and Poland in response to growing concern over Russian intentions after Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

The peninsula annexation was followed by Russian-backed insurgency in the Ukraine's war-torn east that has killed more than 10,000 people.

Kiev and the West have accused of buttressing the rebels and sending in regular troops across the border, claims Moscow has repeatedly denied.

On Friday, Kiev reported the first combat death since the warring sides agreed to a new truce in August after a series of previous such deals failed to bring any tangible results.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, September 11 2017. 23:42 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU