Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a snap military drill in Russia’s western region bordering Ukraine as the war of words between the two countries grows increasingly acrimonious.
Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the armed forces of the Western and Central Commands had been put on “combat alert” for week-long exercises to check their readiness.
Putin has ordered several surprise drills across Russia since last year, but the current war games are bound to be linked to the crisis in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Parliament on Sunday repealed a law making Russian a second official language in half of Ukraine’s provinces with a sizable share of Russian-speakers.
Nationalists have been pulling down Russian monuments in Ukraine and demanding a ban on Russian television channels.