A convoy of tanks and other US military vehicles is driving through eastern European countries that border Russia and Ukraine. The mission aims to reassure a region concerned that the conflict between Russian-backed rebels and government forces in Ukraine could spill over into neighbouring countries.

Dozens of Stryker and other armoured vehicles from the 3rd Squadron of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, with support from US Air Force Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters, took part in the exercise to show Nato's readiness to defend its members.

The Dragoon Ride convoy started in Estonia and has passed through Latvia, Lithuania and Poland before entering the Czech Republic. The convoy will then head back to its to base in Vilseck, southern Germany.

Dragoon Ride
Locals look at Stryker armoured combat vehicles of the US Army 2nd Cavalry Regiment during the Dragoon Ride exercise in Parnu, Estonia, on 21 March 2015. The regiment has been deployed in Estonia as a part of the US military's Operation Atlantic Resolve, aimed at demonstrating commitment to Nato allies in light of Russia's aggression in UkraineInts Kalnins/Reuters
Dragoon Ride
Estonian children are given a tour of a Stryker vehicle during the Dragoon Ride exercise in ParnuInts Kalnins/Reuters
Dragoon Ride
The US Army 2nd Cavalry Regiment arrives during the Dragoon Ride exercise in Liepupe, Latvia, on 22 March 2015Ints Kalnins/Reuters
Dragoon Ride
A US Army soldier adjusts a helmet on a boy's head during the Dragoon Ride exercise in Riga, LatviaInts Kalnins/Reuters
Dragoon Ride
Black Hawk helicopters of the 12th US Air Force combat support brigade arrive during the Dragoon Ride exercise in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 22 March 2015Petras Malukas/AFP
Dragoon Ride
A soldier of the US Army's 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment meets with a local resident in VilniusPetras Malukas/AFP

Poland borders Ukraine and Russia, and the conflict in eastern Ukraine has caused anxiety here. Poland says it has trust in Nato's collective security guarantees but it also harbours bad memories of defence alliances with Britain and France that failed when Nazi Germany invaded in 1939.

The mission plans stops in local communities in each country over the 10-day period.

Dragoon Ride
People gather around a US Army Stryker armoured combat vehicle in Bialystok, north-eastern Poland, on 24 March 2015Marcin Onufryjuk Agencja Gazeta/Reuters
Dragoon Ride
A US soldier inspects a Patriot missile defence battery during joint exercises in Sochaczew, near Warsaw, on 21 March 2015Franciszek Mazur/Agencja Gazeta/Reuters

The convoy of US troops driving through eastern Europe was given a warm welcome as it entered the Czech Republic.

In a campaign on Facebook and pro-Russia media, activists had condemned the convoy, pledging to stop it. But opponents were clearly outnumbered by those who came to welcome the troops.

Dragoon Ride
A convoy of US military vehicles arrives in Prague after entering the Czech Republic at the border crossing in Harrachov as part of the Dragoon Ride exerciseMichal Cizek/AFP
Dragoon Ride
Supporters greet the US military convoy at the border crossing in Bohumin, central Moravia, Czech RepublicRadek Mica/AFP
Dragoon Ride
A US soldier shakes hands with a boy holding an American flag as the US military convoy arrives at the Czech army barracks in PragueMichal Cizek/AFP
Dragoon Ride
Residents of Prague welcome US soldiers as the Dragoon Ride convoy arrives in the Czech RepublicDavid W Cerny/Reuters
Dragoon Ride
People greet a US military convoy as it arrives at the Military School in Vyskov, South MoraviaRadek Mica/AFP
Dragoon Ride
A man offers a can of beer to a US Army soldier arriving at Ruzyne barracks in PragueDavid W Cerny/Reuters
Dragoon Ride
Anti-US protesters stage a demonstration against the US Army's Dragoon Ride military exercise in PragueDavid W Cerny/Reuters
Dragoon Ride
Supporters greet the US military convoy at Ostrava in the Czech RepublicRadek Mica/AFP