Russia moves troops and U.S. sends weapons as fear of war mounts in Ukraine

President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin traded provocations Tuesday, with the Kremlin broadcasting a new round of military exercises within striking distance of Ukraine and Washington rushing a fresh shipment of weapons to Kyiv while suggesting thousands of U.S. troops could be deployed soon to shore up allies’ defenses in Eastern Europe…

Russia’s latest military exercises — involving thousands of troops, tanks, elite paratroopers and short-range ballistic missiles — are intended to project strength, keep Moscow’s foes off balance and intensify pressure on NATO and Ukraine, military analysts said.

The exercises and preparedness checks announced Tuesday encompass parts of southern, western and eastern Russia; Transnistria, Moldova, on Ukraine’s western border; and Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014. Separately, vessels from Russia’s Pacific Fleet drilled with Chinese ships in the Arabian Sea.

Russia’s Western Military District released video of Iskander short-range ballistic missile crews entering field positions. Within hours, officials announced aviation units from the Southern Military District and Black Sea Fleet would train together. More than 60 fighter jets and bombers were to take part in the exercise.