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Russia practices repelling enemy air strike near Western border amid Ukraine tensions

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Russian forces have held a military exercise to practice repelling a massive air strike by an adversary, Interfax cited Russia’s Western Military District as saying on Monday, amid a standoff between Moscow and the West over Kyiv’s NATO ambitions.

About 1,000 troops took part in the operation, Interfax reported.

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Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops at staging posts close to Ukraine and demanded that its southern neighbor not be admitted to NATO and that no offensive weapons be deployed there or in other neighboring countries.

Some troops have started returning to permanent bases after drills near Ukraine.

Read more: Explainer: Why is Russia’s Putin so focused on neighboring Ukraine?