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Putin Orders Inspection of Russia's Combat Readiness

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an immediate review of Russia’s combat readiness, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Thursday.

The inspection will determine the readiness of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border to “deploy forces at short notice to localize crises,” said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

The inspection will also assess the western and central military districts capacity to project force to Russia’s south-western region, Shoigu said.

The country’s Northern Fleet aerospace forces and airborne troops will also be tested, RIA Novosti reported.

Analysts have noted a recent build-up of Russian troops along its border with Ukraine, and in Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014. Ties between Ukraine and Russia have become increasingly strained this month after the Kremlin accused the Ukrainian military of killing two Russian servicemen during an incursion into Crimea. They have also accused Kiev of planning terrorist attacks on the peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

Kiev has denied the accusations, claiming that they are a pretext for “further Russian aggression.” Ukraine ordered its military to its highest state of combat readiness earlier this month.

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