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Putin launches nuclear drills as US says Russia poised to invade Ukraine

US says Russian forces near Ukraine beginning to 'uncoil'; sSeparatists in East Ukraine call for military mobilisation

Vladimir Putin
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Russian President Vladimir Putin gives start to training launches of ballistic missiles as part of the exercise of the strategic deterrence force, in Moscow (Photo: Reuters)

Reuters
Russia's President Vladimir Putin launched exercises by strategic nuclear missile forces on Saturday and Washington said Russian troops massed near Ukraine's border were "poised to strike".

As Western nations fear the start of one the worst conflicts since the Cold War, U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said Russian forces were beginning to "uncoil and move closer" to the border with its former Soviet neighbour.

"We hope he steps back from the brink of conflict," he told a news conference on a visit to Lithuania, saying an invasion of Ukraine was not inevitable.

Russia ordered the military build-up while demanding NATO stop Ukraine ever

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First Published: Feb 19 2022 | 6:36 PM IST

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