Putin orders military exercises amid Ukraine crisis

Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered military exercises for 150,000 troops.

It comes after Russian flags were raised from government buildings on Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, which armed men have seized.

Russian military drills
The Russian foreign ministry has said "large-scale human rights violations", attacks and vandalism in Ukraine are causes for concern. Credit: EBU

The exercises follow the Russian foreign ministry's pledge to "strongly and uncompromisingly" react to any violation of the rights of Russian compatriots in Ukraine.

They are among the largest such exercises Russia has undertaken in recent years.

Russian military drills
The Russian defence ministry has said it has put fighter jets on combat alert on its western borders. Credit: EBU

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Ukraine warns Russia against 'act of aggression' in Crimea

Ukraine's acting president has warned Russia that troop movements outside its naval base in Crimea would be seen as an "act of aggression". Armed men seized regional government headquarters and parliament and the Russian flag is flying from buildings