KYIV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 20: Former president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko embraces a woman who gifted him a Ukrainian flag during a Maidan Revolution commemoration ceremony on February 20, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. In February 2014, the months-long Euromaidan protests culminated in violent clashes between protesters and riot police, leading to the deaths of over 100 people and the ousting of president Viktor Yanukovych, who had sparked the protests by rejecting a pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia. Eight years later, the country again finds itself at center stage in the geopolitical tussle between Russia and the West. (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia is extending military drills near Ukraine's northern borders after two days of sustained shelling along the contact line between Ukrainian soldiers and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The exercises in Belarus, which borders Ukraine to the north, originally were set to end on Sunday.
The joint drills brought a sizable contingent of Russian forces to Belarus, and their presence raised concern that they could be sent down to Ukraine's capital in the event of a Russian invasion.
A top European Union official said, "The big question remains: does the Kremlin want dialogue?"
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