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Putin orders military tests amid Ukraine tensions

President Vladimir Putin Honours Russian Olympic Athletes

MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered massive exercises involving most of its military units in western Russia amid tensions in Ukraine.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised statement made at a meeting of top military brass in Moscow that the exercise is intended to "checks the troops' readiness for action in crisis situations that threaten the nation's military security."

Shoigu said Putin ordered the exercise Wednesday afternoon. During the first two days, the military will be put on high alert and some will deploy to shooting ranges.

The actual maneuvers will start Friday and will last four days, he said. The exercise will involve ships of the Baltic and the Northern Fleets and the air force.

Shoigu's statement didn't contain any reference to Ukraine, where tensions remain high following the toppling of Russia-backed President Viktor Yanukovych. Russia has questioned the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian authorities and accused them of failing to control radicals who threaten the Russia-speaking population in Ukraine's east and south.

A senior Russian lawmaker on Tuesday told pro-Russia activists in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula where Russia has a major naval base that Moscow will protect them if their lives are in danger.

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jjadams3906 February 27 2014 at 9:15 AM

we should keep our nose out of there affairs ,and leave them alone they spent alot to protect our olympians at the olympics,and we are NOT THE POLICE OF THE WORLD ,whats next telling allthe birds in the world not to fly,??????,we have enough problems of our own and should we start taking a good look at ourselves

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Dave and Judy February 27 2014 at 8:45 AM

What is Obama up to now, another vacation?

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rwk999 February 27 2014 at 11:19 AM

i think he is rattling the sword again, but it really means nothing after his cowardly backsteps regarding Syria.

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Cece February 27 2014 at 5:12 AM

None of us really know anything about what Putin is doing. None of us know anything about what President Obama will do. Past history does not dictate the present or the future. The leaders will do what they can and logically avoid conflict between the US & Russia. Our opinions mean nothing. I would hope that our country could unite and back our leaders, instead of criticizing every move made. I miss the US of old. We are divided and weak. It is sad.

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alblonie116 February 27 2014 at 8:51 AM

I agree,I think you are right about what you said.but if we are weak,and divided,with still an inexperienced leader,why should we dictate to other nations,about what they should or should not do. additionally,always remember,the russian army in wwII,lost more men pushing my relatives back to germany,out of the ukraine,,,than the u.s.ever had in their army. If it wasnt for corruption and being made unstable,there would be no problem there. The russians want 'clear sailing',for everyone to behave.and they want the u.s.and its people for friends,partners,,trust me...thank you for posting. I will always push for friendship between the Federation and the u.s.,theres no vaild reason for us all not to be friends..

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upperwestbud February 27 2014 at 3:20 AM

Putin has shown his cards. He is a dictator that dreams of a renewed Soviet Union under a diffrent name. He leads a powerful country that in his mind thinks that if he acts militarily to annex the eastern part of Ukraine, no one will respond.

His government offered eastern Ukranians Russian citizenship. His goal is to divide Ukraine and to keep Russia's naval base in Sebastool secure, thus Russian troops have been ordered to be prepared act. He knows that Russia at this point will never annex all of Ukraine. He'll get what he can in the name of Mother Russia.

Ukraine sees their future on their own. It's up to them, not anyone else to decide. They will decide on their own. Should Putin act, he knows that the EU will do nothing and expects the US and North America to do nothing.

He is wrong. In this tense time, it's up to those in Ukraine to ask us in North America to support them for them to form their own government.

What we as North Americans must do is to say, "We support you." If you need us, we'll be with you. You tell us what we can do to help you". And we say to Ukraine, we're not afraid of Russia. If Russia wants war, they will lose.

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harri82856 February 27 2014 at 10:49 AM

But not ALL of Ukraine's people want to be part of the EU. Part of the people consider themselves Russian. The opposition to the legitimately elected government of Ukraine has now turned into the tyrants they ran out of the country. They have declared Ukranian to be the primary language. Some of these people speak only Russian. Russia has interests in this country considering they have a naval base in Crimea and gas pipelines running through Ukraine. I hate to tell you this but if it comes to war Russia don't be so sure they will lose. A war is not in anyone's best interests and I don't believe it will come to that. Nor is it is goal to divide Ukraine.

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richar5795 February 27 2014 at 1:13 AM

:Putin is an example of a STRONG LEADER, with a PLAN and an OBJECTIVE. He is not cowered by threats, ass kissing diplomats, or the dangle of money or aide. He BELIEVES in his COUNTRY and has a vision for its DESTINY. He does not embrace diversity or people tryint to identify as a diffeent culture or race....in his own words to the muslims within his borers he told them they must learn to speak Russian, be Russian and if they wanted Muslim law..they need to leave and move to a Muslim country. The same applies to any minority group. He does not put up with illegal aliens, and could care less about world opinion or threats. His military is strong and getting stronger and he is not afraid to supply his allies or punish his enemies. Now....what do we have to compare with this??

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harri82856 February 27 2014 at 10:50 AM

I agree with you. However, I don't think he actually said some of those things regarding Muslims.

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richar5795 February 27 2014 at 1:13 AM

:Putin is an example of a STRONG LEADER, with a PLAN and an OBJECTIVE. He is not cowered by threats, ass kissing diplomats, or the dangle of money or aide. He BELIEVES in his COUNTRY and has a vision for its DESTINY. He does not embrace diversity or people tryint to identify as a diffeent culture or race....in his own words to the muslims within his borers he told them they must learn to speak Russian, be Russian and if they wanted Muslim law..they need to leave and move to a Muslim country. The same applies to any minority group. He does not put up with illegal aliens, and could care less about world opinion or threats. His military is strong and getting stronger and he is not afraid to supply his allies or punish his enemies. Now....what do we have to compare with this??

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2 replies to richar5795's comment
tlbilan February 27 2014 at 2:32 AM

You are an ignorant, uneducated idiot!!!!!!!!!!! Why don't you go and live in Russia? Maybe you could help Putin in his attempt to control the world.

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karl leinfelder February 27 2014 at 11:51 AM

I think that you would benefit by being familiar with historical facts.

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karl leinfelder February 27 2014 at 11:50 AM

I like the guy and I believe that he abides with good basic principles

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drcutlass February 27 2014 at 12:59 AM

Never trust a ruskie

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John N Carpenter February 27 2014 at 12:34 AM

My dad devoted 34 years helping our US army. He today if alive would say putin is up to NO GOOD!

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Annika February 27 2014 at 12:21 AM

He's basically saying that he's ready to invade if they don't turn pro-Russia again.

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John N Carpenter February 27 2014 at 12:17 AM

If anyone thinks this is a exercise, then you need to read up on history. Bring pain and gain, this is what the russians are thinking. I remember the COLD WAR, LOOKS MORE LIKE ITS COMING BACK, THANKS TO THE PUTER GUY!

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