Ukrainian servicemen carry bags and a computer while leaving a military base in Perevalnoye, near the Crimean city of Simferopol, March 20, 2014. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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Russia will boost its military presence in Crimea to protect against external threats, state news agency Itar-Tass quoted Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov as saying on Thursday as lawmakers voted to annex the Ukrainian region.Russia is the world's third largest military spender behind the United States and China and plans to spend 20 trillion roubles ($556.84 billion) by 2020 to revamp its armed forces, a target Borisov said Russia would not sacrifice.He gave no immediate details, but boosting Russia's military presence would probably entail combining its current Black Sea Fleet facilities with Ukrainian bases where Russian troops have taken control.
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