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Reuters Photo Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, President Vladimir Putin, center, and head of the Russian army’s main department of combat preparation Ivan Buvaltsev watch military exercises at the Kirillovsky firing ground in the Leningrad region on Monday. Putin watched Russian tanks and armoured vehicles trundle across the training ground in the north-west of the country, as Moscow flexed its muscle in a geo-political face-off with the West over Ukraine.

Putin says military force in Ukraine would be a ‘last resort’

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MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin delivered a robust defense of Russia’s actions in Crimea and said on Tuesday that he would use force in Ukraine only as a last resort, easing market fears that East-West tension over the former Soviet republic could lead to war.

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