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Russia accuses West of ‘provocations’ in Ukraine

RUSSIA accused the West of plotting “provocations” in Ukraine today and announced plans for multiple naval exercises this month.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova alleged that Ukrainian and Western claims of an imminent Russian attack on Ukraine were a “cover for staging large-scale provocations of their own, including those of military character.

“They may have extremely tragic consequences for the regional and global security,” Ms Zakharova said.

She pointed to the delivery of weapons to Ukraine by British military transport planes in recent days, claiming that the Kiev government perceives Western military assistance as “carte blanche for a military operation in Donbass.”

Her comments followed claims from President Joe Biden on Wednesday night that he believes Russia will invade Ukraine.

Mr Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country would pay a “dear price” in lives lost and a possible cutoff from the global banking system if this happens.

Announcing the naval drills yesterday, Russia's Defence Ministry said that they were “intended to practise navy and air force action to protect Russian national interests in the world’s oceans and to counter military threats to the Russian Federation.”

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