Putin's mystery military award points to Ukraine involvement

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on March 27, 2015Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded several military units a hugely prestigious title that was given to troops for heroism during WWII, sparking new questions about the Kremlin’s involvement in Ukraine. Putin this week bestowed the honorary “guards” title on two air assault brigades and a communications regiment, with the award being seen by some analysts as a tacit acknowledgement that Russian troops have been fighting in east Ukraine. The defence ministry in Moscow says that the honorary title is not given to military units “in times of peace”. The wording appears odd given that Russia — according to the official line — is not involved in any military conflicts.

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