Yesterday, Russian troops were engaged in an escalating frenzy at the Ukrainian border after Vladimir Putin warned NATO and the US to “go to hell”, igniting fears about an invasion. 

According to reports, drills have begun amid allegations that’mass-grave’ burial sites capable of holding 100 bodies are being constructed along Ukraine’s border in anticipation of an invasion by Russian forces.  

Moscow has for weeks been massing tens of thousands of troops, tanks and artillery pieces along its eastern flank, sparking fears of an invasion, though the Kremlin has insisted it is merely a defence force. 

Yesterday saw more than 1000 troops engage in firing drills in five areas. Tanks conducted mobile defense drills with 500 soldiers. Sukhoi Su27SM3 fighter jets trained on challenging warships. 

It came hours after Putin, speaking at his annual end-of-year press conference yesterday, accused NATO and the US of planning to deploy hypersonic missiles –  which have not yet been successfully developed – to Ukraine.

Russian leader blamed NATO for militarising former Soviet countries, like Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania since the Cold War ended, for current crises and threats Russia can protect itself by doing anything it wants.

Russian troops engaged in a frenzy of 'exercises' on the Ukrainian border yesterday hours after Vladimir Putin told US and NATO to 'go to hell', stoking fears of an invasion

Yesterday, Russian troops were engaged in an escalating frenzy at the Ukrainian border after Vladimir Putin warned NATO and US to “go to hell”, igniting fears about an invasion.

More than 1,000 troops were involved in firing exercises in five regions yesterday while tanks conducted mobile defence drills involving 500 soldiers

Yesterday, more than 1000 troops participated in firing drills in five areas. Meanwhile, 500 soldiers were involved in mobile defense drills with tanks.

Five ultra modern MiG-31BM interceptor fighter jets (pictured) practiced yesterday amid claims 'mass grave' sties, each capable of accommodating 100 bodies, are being prepared along the Ukrainian border

Five MiG-31BM ultra-modern interceptor fighter planes (pictured), were tested yesterday amid allegations of’mass grave sties. They are each capable to accommodate 100 bodies and are currently being prepared at the Ukrainian border

Moscow has for weeks been massing tens of thousands of troops, tanks and artillery pieces along its eastern flank, sparking fears of an invasion, though the Kremlin has insisted it is merely a defence force (pictured, Russian forces currently massed in border regions)

Moscow is currently massing thousands of soldiers, tanks, and artillery pieces on its eastern flank for several weeks. This has sparked fears about an invasion. However, the Kremlin insists it’s merely a defense force.

Putin, speaking at his annual end-of-year press conference yesterday, accused NATO and the US of planning to deploy hypersonic missiles - which have not yet been successfully developed - to Ukraine

Putin accused NATO, the US and others of planning on deploying hypersonic weapons – that haven’t yet been developed successfully – to Ukraine at yesterday’s annual end-of-2018 press conference

Sources said that Black Sea Sukhoi Su-27SM3 fighter aircrafts were stationed in Krasnodar and trained on challenges to Western or Ukrainian warships they believed might be threatening the Russian frontier. 

According to a fleet statement, ‘In training flights, Su-27SM3 two-man Su-34 fighter-bomber duos followed Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers and practiced airborne duties, detection, and following mock transgressor boats demonstrating an intent to illegally cross the Russian sea frontier’.

A separate announcement was made by the central military district, which announced an increase of 50 percent in drills to 2022. This would mean that almost one daily drill will be conducted.

The video shows five MiG-31BM fighters, which are ultra-modern and highly capable. In Kemerovo tanks also conducted mobile defense drills that involved 500 soldiers.

The exercises were described in a report: “The simulated enemy attempted to penetrate the defences with heavy armored vehicles.

The crews of tanks destroyed their enemy with mobile defence tactics. One feature is that they prepared multiple lines at each vehicle’s location.

“At the same moment, the tank’s position changes after every shot.

“The combat vehicle crews, changing their firing positions mimic the fire from more equipment, forcing the enemy to reply, thus exposing themselves for vehicles in ambush which fire on the targets.

Colonel General Alexander Lapin was the central district commander and stated: “We will continue building up the combat capability of the troops in the district and maintaining it at a level which ensures Russia’s military security with its allies.”

In the Arctic, Russian forces were deployed setting up a communications system in harsh deep winter conditions at a firing range in Murmansk region

Russian forces deployed in the Arctic setting up a communication system under harsh winter conditions, at Murmansk’s firing range.

Video shows a batch of five ultra modern MiG-31BM interceptor fighters which were deployed in the central military district of Russia

The video shows five MiG-31BM fighter interceptors, which were all ultra-modern and deployed in Russia’s central military district.

Volgograd has more than 1,000 soldiers who are trained in rocket and artillery firing with self-propelled 152mm Msta-S howitzers and Tornado-G missile launchers.

Buryatia’s motorized riflemen, mounted on infantry fighting vehicle-equipped vehicles, stopped an enemy’s offensive in freezing temperatures.

Russian airborne troops practiced in Ulyanovsk in a high-precision shooting competition.

According to reports, Russian forces were stationed at Ukraine’s border west in Transnistria’s separatist region, Transnistria. They were trained in “radiation, chemical, and biological defense”.

Russian forces deployed in Arctic setting up communications systems in extreme winter conditions.  

According to Interfax-AVN, the drills are being conducted with participation by troops and military equipment to enhance firing and driving skill and continue tactical and specific training.

Mass burial sites were being dug along the Ukraine border as a ‘priority’, Russian  outlet MK reported, citing leaked legal documents. 

According to documents that came into effect on February 1, the graves will be constructed close to crematoriums.  

In Buryatia, motorised riflemen on infantry fighting vehicles thwarted the offensive of an 'enemy' in temperatures as low as minus 40C

Buryatia’s motorized riflemen mounted on infantry fighting vehicle stopped an enemy’s offensive in cold temperatures of minus 40C

Russian soldiers take part in a high-precision shooting championship among the military personnel of the Airborne Forces in Ulyanovsk during mass drills yesterday

Yesterday’s mass drills saw Russian soldiers taking part in a shooting competition for military personnel in Ulyanovsk.

Was Vladimir Putin’s speech on each subject at the end of the year press conference informative?

Possible conflict with Ukraine 

“This is not our decision, and we don’t want it.”

“We need to consider ensuring security for tomorrow, not only for this week.

“We have just asked the question, should there be any further NATO movements to the east? The ball is now in the US’s court. They should respond with something. This is why I want to emphasize that we’ve seen positive reactions so far. Our American partners have told us they are open to starting this conversation. 

NATO expansion

“What’s unclear? Do we place missiles right next to America’s borders? It is not the United States who has arrived at us with its missiles. They are on our doorstep.

They said that the outcome of the negotiations was more important than the course. But what’s the matter? They didn’t cheat, they just brazenly fooled us! There have been five waves of NATO expansion, and the systems now appear in Romanian and Polish.

On Donbass:

“The people living in Donbass must decide the future of Donbass.” This cannot happen any other way. Our role is to act as mediators, creating conditions that will determine the future for the residents of this area. 

Russia labels some media agents as foreign agents

“We don’t forbid these organizations from working.” Organisations involved in Russia’s internal political activities should clearly and succinctly disclose the source of their foreign financing.   

Moscow last week submitted security documents requesting that NATO withdraw its membership of Ukraine and other ex-Soviet countries, and reverse the alliance’s deployments in Central or Eastern Europe.

NATO is a unique alliance that allows any nation to apply for membership. 

While the US and its allies say they won’t give Russia the guarantee that Putin seeks, American officials have been meeting with European allies ahead of Geneva negotiations.   

Putin stated Thursday that Washington was open to discussing the suggestions and could hold talks at Geneva’s beginning of next year. 

An American official claimed that Washington was open to talks “as soon as January”  

Putin stated that there must be no eastward NATO expansion. Their ball is now in their court. They must provide an answer,” he said. “Overall, we are pleased with the positive response.”

Putin stated that the US partners had told them that they were ready to start this discussion and these negotiations at the beginning of next year in Geneva. He also said that representatives from each side have been appointed.

This week’s intensifying tensions reached their peak when Putin promised that Russia would take the appropriate retaliatory military measures to counter what he described as an aggressive West.

Putin described the creation of Nato forces within countries that once belonged the Soviet Union as Russia setting up a military presence to Canada and Mexico.

He asked, “Is it us that are placing missiles close to the US borders?” It’s not us who brought missiles to our country. 

Is this an unreasonable demand that we not have offensive systems within our homes?

“We’ve made it clear and specific that we have told them any Nato expansion to the east is not acceptable. You are the one who is responsible. [the West]Who must immediately give us assurances and who should not be idle talking about this for many decades?

Putin asserts that the Cold War was over and NATO promised Russia to respect its territorial history and not extend the alliance beyond central and east Europe.

However, many countries of eastern Europe feared being absorbed into Russia’s greater Russia and becoming its clients states once more. This would result in them losing their freedoms.

The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Hungary joined NATO in 1999. In 2004, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia followed by Slovenia, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Slovenia. 

The Nato membership grew to 30 countries in the following years with additions of Albania, Montenegro, Montenegro, and North Macedonia.