Putin Says Russia Testing Military’s Combat Readiness

President Vladimir Putin said Russia is testing its entire military’s combat readiness through a series of countrywide drills, ramping up tensions less than a day after he pledged to pull forces back from Ukraine’s border.

“Today’s planned exercises will involve all of the armed forces across Russia, including our nuclear containment,” he said at the Defense Ministry in Moscow, where he watched the drills by video link. The exercises have been planned since November, he said.

Putin said yesterday that Russia’s army was pulling back from Ukraine’s border, where troops have been massing since the annexation of Crimea in March. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization said today that there’s no proof of a Russian withdrawal. Markets had rallied on his initial pledge.

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