Russian troops conducting exercises close to the Ukrainian frontier this week came within one kilometer of the border but did not cross, Ukraine's defence minister was quoted as saying on Friday by Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

Saying that a column of Russian forces had approached to within 1 km (1,100 yards) of the border and that aircraft had also taken part in the manoeuvres, Mykhailo Koval added: "Ukraine's armed forces are ready to repel any aggression."

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