Putin puts troops in western Russia on alert in drill: agencies

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 26, 2014 6:55 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin ordered an urgent drill to test the combat readiness of the armed forces across western Russia on Wednesday, news agencies reported, flexing Moscow's military muscle amid tension with the West over Ukraine.

"In accordance with an order from the president of the Russian Federation, forces of the Western Military District were put on alert at 1400 (0500 ET) today," Interfax quoted Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying.

(Writing by Steve Gutterman, editing by Elizabeth Piper)