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Russian Troops Testing Ukraine Border: Officials

 / Updated 
Image: Pro-Russian militant stand guard in front of the occupied Ukraine Security Service building
Pro-Russian militants stand guard in front of the occupied Ukraine Security Service building on April 21, 2014 in Slovyansk, Ukraine. Scott Olson / Getty Images

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Russian military forces are “pulsing the border” and making a “run toward Ukraine” — but pulling up well short — in their “training exercise," U.S. officials told NBC News on Thursday.

But it’s not clear whether the Russian forces are actually preparing to cross the border into Ukraine or simply putting on a “show of force,” the officials said.

They added that there is no strong indication that the Russians are preparing to invade but still stick by their earlier estimate that from their current positions, these troops could launch a complex invasion and be inside Ukraine in less than 12 hours.

— Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube

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