article-2584693-1C6D9E1A00000578-222_634x531Ukraine asked Britain for military support last night amid growing fears that Russia is set to launch a fresh land grab in Eastern Europe. The embattled nation’s security chief Andriy Parubiy called for joint military exercises with the United States and Britain to deter Russia from seizing the rest of Eastern Ukraine. He said Ukraine will hold manoeuvres with the two Western nations following the annexation of Crimea. The Ministry of Defence said Britain ‘routinely’ holds military exercises with Ukraine. Planning is going ahead for one exercise – codenamed Rapid Trident 14 – to be held near Lviv, close to the Polish border in western Ukraine, in July. An MoD insider said: ‘This is nothing to do with the current situation in Ukraine and it is not an exercise in, “Right, let’s go and practice battering the Russians”.’ The news of the joint exercises emerged as Ukraine announced it was drawing up plans to withdraw its soldiers and their families from Crimea following the storming of its naval bases by pro-Russian froces. Mr Parubiy said he wanted to move them ‘quickly and effciently’ to mainland Ukraine. Immediately after the Sevastopol base was seized heavily-armed men wearing unmarked uniforms began guarding it. Alexsandr Vitko, commander of Moscow’s Black Sea fleet, later strode in to cheers from the crowd. MORE