Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a test of forces in Western and Central Russia today.

Vlad rattles saber.
The LA Times reported:

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a test of the “battle readiness” of military forces deployed in the western and central areas of the country, a likely show of Kremlin muscle to reassure ethnic Russians in Ukraine that their rights and interests will be defended.

The announcement of the “immediate and thorough” readiness exercises was made by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and reported by the Interfax news agency.

“Putin ordered confirmation of troop capabilities for action in the event of a crisis situation that presents a threat to the military security of the country,” as well as anti-terrorism and emergency response readiness, Shoigu was quoted as saying by Interfax.

The readiness test was ordered amid growing tensions in Ukraine between the Russian-allied eastern areas of the restive country and pro-Western political forces now in control of the capital, Kiev, following a rebellion that drove President Viktor Yanukovich to flee his office.

Acting Ukrainian President Olexandr Turchynov was to address a public rally in Kiev’s Independence Square late Wednesday to announce proposed appointments to an interim Cabinet to govern Ukraine until a presidential election to replace Yanukovich on May 25 and parliamentary elections expected over the summer.

The current parliament, now largely devoid of lawmakers from Yanukovich’s Party of Regions, who either defected to the opposition or retreated to their home bases, was to vote on the nominations Thursday.

 

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