Russia launches Zapad war games on Europe's borders

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Russia and Belarus are holding large-scale joint military exercises, called Zapad (meaning ‘West’ in Russian), on NATO’s eastern border.

It is the first time the “Zapad-2017” war games are being held since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014, causing concern among neighbouring countries.

The war games – one of Moscow’s largest since the Cold War - have been under way since last Thursday.

Moscow says just under 13,000 personnel have been participating, though Western observers believe the real number is far higher.

Al Jazeera's Rory Challands reports from Belarus.

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