• Reuters

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President Vladimir Putin will oversee exercises by Russia’s nuclear forces on Saturday involving the launch of ballistic and cruise missiles, the defense ministry said, in its latest show of strength at a time of acute tension with the West over Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the exercises were part of a regular training process and denied they signaled an escalation of the standoff. He said Putin’s role was essential, and the president was likely to take part from a “situation center.”

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