A BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher system (RIA Novosti / Igor Zarembo)

Russia Starts Military Exercises Near Ukraine — Reuters

(Reuters) – Russia announced on Thursday it had started military exercises near the border with Ukraine, in what is likely to be seen as a show of force in the standoff with Kiev and the West over Crimea.

The Defence Ministry confirmed exercises had begun in the Southern Military District, involving 8,500 artillery men, after pictures appeared on social media showing military vehicles on the move in the area.

The exercise includes a large number of artillery and Grad, Hurricane and Tornado multiple-rocket launchers, the Defence Ministry said in a statement on its website.


Military And Intelligence News Briefs

Russia deploys 8,500 troops for artillery drills in south — RT

Kremlin Massing Armed Forces Near Eastern Ukraine — New York Times

CSTO security bloc monitors NATO buildup over Ukraine — RT

NATO sends 2 surveillance planes to Ukraine border — AP

Ukraine Forms National Guard to Boost Defenses — RIA Novosti

Ukraine creates National Guard ahead of Crimea vote — BBC

Ukraine to Incorporate Ex-Protesters into New Military Force — RIA Novosti

Ukraine Defense Chief’s Report Paints Bleak Picture of Armed Forces – RIA Novosti

Responding to Ukraine: U.S. to keep carrier in Mediterranean to reassure NATO allies — CNN

Cybercom’s Michael Rogers confirms Russia conducted cyberattacks against Ukraine — Washington Times

Pentagon: U.S. F-16 fighter jets to train with Poland near Ukraine – Washington Times

Iraq’s Sunni tribal leaders say fight for Fallujah is part of a revolution – Washington Post

Syria’s secretive rocket industry spotlighted by Israeli weapons seizure — Christian Science Monitor

South Korea to upgrade its Patriot missile system – UPI

UN: Drone use down in Pakistan, up in Afghanistan — AP

Australia to spend £1.6bn on drone fleet to protect borders – The Telegraph

Top Gun takeover: Stolen F-35 secrets showing up in China’s stealth fighter — Washington Times

With training and partnerships, U.S. military treads lightly in Africa — Reuters

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa — Nick Turse, Huffington Post

U.S. commander in Afghanistan warns that full withdrawal will allow al-Qaeda to regroup — Washington Post

Special Operations Leaders Lay Out Evolving Threats – US Department of Defense

Navy Buys Four More LCS for $1.4 Billion — DoD Buzz

Some U.S. Lawmakers Eye Funding New Submarines Outside Normal Process — National Journal/Global Security Newswire

Greenert: US Navy Faces Support Shortfalls, Maintenance Backlogs — US Department of Defense

U.S. May Seek License for Russian Rocket Engines – Defense Tech

Snowden leak: NSA plans to infect ‘millions’ of computers — RT

Snowden: NSA uses fake Facebook to hack into users’ computers — Washington Times

NSA bulk spying may see termination of EU-US agreements – MEP resolution — RT

Military families would take a $5,000 hit in benefits with Obama budget — Washington Times

Commission Finds ‘No Compelling Medical Reason’ To Exclude Transgender Americans From Military — CBS/AP

How a Military Sexual Assault Case Foundered – New York Times

Suicide on the homefront in military families — Kristina Kaufmann, CNN

Public feud between CIA, Senate panel follows years of tension over interrogation report — Washington Post

Why CIA, senators still feuding over 9/11 secrets – Connie Cass and Nancy Benac, AP

Let the Military Run Drone Warfare — Adam Schiff, New York Times

Beijing’s breakneck defense spending poses a challenge to the U.S. — Washington Post editorial

Mind the Gap: Putin’s Actions and the Future of War — Janine Davidson, Council on Foreign Relations

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