Russia stages war games in Kaliningrad enclave

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Russia staged war games on Saturday in Kaliningrad, an enclave on the Baltic Sea sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania, Interfax news agency cited the Baltic Fleet Command as saying, days after a senior official warned European countries against any potential action against Kaliningrad.

“Up to 1,000 military personnel... and more than 60 military equipment units were involved in the control checks,” Interfax news quoted the Russian Baltic Fleet Command’s press service as saying.

Separately, 20 Su-27 fighters and Su-24 front-line naval aviation bombers conducted planned combat training overnight, simulating attacks on low-speed air and ground targets, command posts and military equipment in Kaliningrad, Interfax said.

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It did not give a reason for the exercises or say when they had been planned.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko warned European countries on Wednesday against any potential action against the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, saying “this would be playing with fire.”

Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24 in what it called a “special operation” to degrade its southern neighbor’s military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists.

The West has imposed sweeping sanctions in an effort to force Russia to withdraw its forces, and NATO has beefed up its defenses on its eastern flank.

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