Russia war games at Ukraine border as migrant crisis grows

Written by by Staff Writer, CNN Written by Staff Writer, CNN Russia and Belarus hold military drills as migrant crisis on EU border grows More than 4,000 Russian troops, along with fighter jets and…

Russia war games at Ukraine border as migrant crisis grows

Written by by Staff Writer, CNN Written by Staff Writer, CNN Russia and Belarus hold military drills as migrant crisis on EU border grows

More than 4,000 Russian troops, along with fighter jets and army helicopters, began major war games Sunday at the Russian-Belarusian border, as the number of people displaced by the conflict in Syria reach 1.2 million.

More than 100 naval vessels are taking part in military drills on Lake Baikal, Russian news agencies reported, in a coordinated move to reassure Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Tanks and aircraft had been airlifted in for the exercises, an AFP photographer on the Baltics reported.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron (R) put in a wreath of flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Moscow’s Red Square on January 14, 2017. AP/Vasily Maximov, Alexei Druzhinin, Photogrpa

Hundreds of warplanes involved

More than 300 warplanes including MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters were also involved in the exercise, according to TASS, the official agency of the Russian Armed Forces.

Officials said last month that the exercises, with a command headquarters in Belarus, would include “rapid-strike air and sea war games.

News of the dramatic military manoeuvres come as Europe’s migration crisis continues to threaten to split the European Union along borders.

In Hungary, more than 65,000 migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa have arrived since the beginning of the year, according to the United Nations.

More than one million migrants passed through the EU and the Balkans last year, sparking mass protests and concerns about the stability of the bloc.

Earlier this month, the European Commission announced plans to build a 300-mile fence on the border with Hungary to stem the tide of migrants as the refugee crisis rages on.

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