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Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has promised what he called a shattering blow to anyone threatening Russian citizens, according to Voice of America.
The president spoke Monday in Kursk, as a top Russian military spokesman, General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, said his country`s troops had begun withdrawing from Georgia.
Russia 'distributing passports in the Crimea'
Ukraine is investigating claims that Russia has been distributing passports in the port of Sevastopol, raising fears that the Kremlin could be stoking separatist sentiment in the Crimea as a prelude to possible military intervention.
The allegation has prompted accusations that Russia is using the same tactics employed in the Georgian breakaway regions of Abhkazia and South Ossetia in order to create a pretext for a war.
Russia handed out passports to the residents of the two provinces, which have long looked to Moscow for support, five years ago. The Kremlin has justified its invasion of Georgia in terms of defending its citizens in Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgian "aggression".
Tensions between Moscow and Kiev have grown in recent days after Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine's pro-western president, imposed restrictions on Russian ships entering the Black Sea Fleet's base in Sevastopol.
Ukraine further infuriated the Kremlin last week by offering Europe and the United States access to its missile warning systems.