Ukraine launches a military drill near Russia’s border with which Kiev has been at loggerheads over a wide range of issues. The three-day military exercises involve tanks and heavy artillery. Ukraine stressed that it is prepared to defend its territory. The drill came as Kiev has accused Moscow of planning to seize two of its strategic port cities. However, Russia rejected the allegations as absurd and unsubstantiated. Relations between the two countries have been strained since the crisis began in eastern Ukraine in 20-14 and Crimea re-joined Russia following a referendum the same year. The relations worsened further after Russia seized three Ukrainian ships recently accusing them of illegally entering Russian waters off the coast of Crimea.