Thousands of Nato troops in show of force with military exercise

Nato staged a major military exercise in Latvia in a practical demonstration of leaders' commitment to defend its Baltic member states in the face of aggression from larger neighbours.

Around 500 paratroopers, hundreds of vehicles and aircraft are taking part in the exercise in Latvia's capital Riga. Exercise 'Steadfast Javelin II' simulates a deployment of Nato soldiers and equipment in another country in a crisis situation.

At a two-day Nato summit meeting in Wales members agreed to form a new rapid reaction force and to step up exercises in eastern Europe in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine.

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Nato plans 'spearhead' force to take on Russian troops

Nato leaders will today set out their plans for a new "spearhead" force capable of deploying thousands of troops to take on Russia if required within a few days.

The 28-member alliance is preparing to "pre-position" fuel and ammunition supplies in bases in eastern Europe so they are ready in the event of another crisis.

Airfields and port facilities in the region will also be strengthened.

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