The defence ministry in Moscow confirmed that artillery such as rocket launchers and anti-tank weapons would also be involved in the exercises. Its mean that Russia has begun military exercises, involving more than 8,000 troops, close to the border with Ukraine.
They come at a time of high tension ahead of Crimea's referendum on Sunday on whether to join Russia. Arseniy Yatsenyuk,Ukraine PM has told the UN Security Council his country is a victim of Russian aggression. Arseniy Yatsenyukalso said it was "absolutely and entirely unacceptable, in the 21st Century, to resolve any kind of conflict with tanks artillery and boots on the ground", in reference to Russian troops at key sites in Crimea. But Arseniy Yatsenyuk also said: "We still believe that we have a chance to resolve this conflict in a peaceful manner." Meanwhile, reports from the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk say at least one person has been killed and several wounded in clashes between hundreds of pro- and anti-Moscow demonstrators.