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On 16 December the spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defence said that Iskander were part of the equipment of the Western Military District.
On 12 December President Vladimir Putin made his annual speech at the Federal Assembly which is an important political signal to the elite.
A number of documents enhancing the co-operation between Russia and Ukraine, were signed during the meeting of Presidents Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych.
Russian air policing in Belarus confirms the lack of balance in military relations between Moscow and Minsk.
The protests in Ukraine present a huge challenge for Russia – both for its reputation in the international arena and in internal affairs.
It is in the Kremlin’s interest to keep in power a weakened President Viktor Yanukovych, who would be forced into cooperation with Russia.