Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
By Stephen Brown and Timothy Heritage BERLIN/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia launched new military exercises near its border with Ukraine on Thursday, showing no sign of backing down on plans to annex its neighbor's Crimea region despite a stronger than expected drive for sanctions from the EU and United States. In an unusually robust and emotional speech, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of "catastrophe" unless Russia changes course, while in Ukraine a man died in fighting between rival protesters in a mainly Russian-speaking city. In Berlin, Merkel removed any suspicion that she might try to avoid a confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, "We would not only see it, also as neighbors of Russia, as a threat. And it would not only change the European Union's relationship with Russia," she told parliament.