Russian military flexes muscles with display of artillery, air combat and tanks

Amid tension with Ukraine and NATO, Russia's military flexed its muscles with exercises on Sunday 19 December. Video showed off artillery, air combat and tank power, as relations between Moscow and Western powers deteriorate over a possible invasion of Ukraine. The training exercise took place near the south-western Russian city of Orenburg, which is located in the Orenburg Oblast region bordering Kazakhstan, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD). The images first show ground forces firing numerous missiles and shells at imaginary enemy targets, before fighter jets are seen in action. The footage also shows tanks firing salvos at mock enemies, as well as an attack helicopter firing missiles while airborne. The footage was shared online by the Russian MoD, who said: “An artillery fire raid, air strikes and heavy flamethrowers were shown to officers and generals of the Central Military District during an operational-combat training camp near Orenburg.” The EU has warned Moscow of a "severe cost" if it invades Ukraine. The US has made similar threats. Western intelligence services believe that up to 100,000 Russian soldiers have been massed near Ukraine’s borders, amid fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin might decide to invade Russia's neighbour.

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