Russian troops begin to withdraw from Ukrainian border


Moscow — Russian troops began pulling back to their permanent base on Friday after a large accumulation that caused concerns in Ukraine and the West.

On Thursday, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu declared a large-scale operation on a large area of ​​the Crimean Peninsula and western Russia, and sent troops to return their participating troops to a permanent base by May 1. I ordered.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the announcement.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday that troops participating in a large-scale training in Crimea were boarding trains, transporting aircraft and moving to landing craft on their way to the permanent base.

Epoch Times Photo
This handout, taken from a video released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, shows a Russian armored vehicle rolling into a landing craft after training in Crimea on Friday, April 23, 2021. (Russian Ministry of Defense Press Service via AP)

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kiev will wait for confirmation from Ukrainian and NATO intelligence agencies.

“We want Russia’s actions to be in line with Russian language,” Kreva said on Friday during his visit to Romania.

While Shoygu ordered the withdrawal of military personnel, he ordered a large-scale exercise called The Pad (West) 2021 on heavy weapons stored in western Russia later this year. Weapons were to be stored at the Pogonovo shooting range in southwestern Voronezh Oblast, 160 km (100 miles) east of the Russian-Ukrainian border.

The United States and NATO said Russia had the largest military buildup since 2014, when Russia merged the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine and cast support behind the separatists in Donbas, the eastern industrial center of Ukraine. .. More than 14,000 people were killed in a seven-year battle between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists.

Epoch Times Photo
This handout, taken from a video released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, shows a Russian armored vehicle rolling into a landing craft after training in Crimea on Friday, April 23, 2021. (Russian Ministry of Defense Press Service via AP)

The Kremlin withdrew its troops as the concentration of Russian troops raised concerns in the west as the truce violations increased in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow rejected Ukrainian and Western concerns, claiming that it was free to deploy troops anywhere in Russian territory. However, the Kremlin also warned Ukrainian authorities not to use force to regain control of eastern rebels, saying they could intervene there to protect civilians.

Epoch Times Photo
This handout, taken from a video released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, shows that Russian military trucks are ready to be loaded after training in Crimea on Friday, April 23, 2021. (Russian Ministry of Defense Press Service via AP)

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, was asked if the Kremlin thought the Kremlin would help ease tensions with the United States, saying the issue was not relevant.

“This is not a problem for Russia-US relations,” Peskov said in a meeting with reporters. “We have stated that no movement of the Russian army on Russian territory poses a threat and does not represent an escalation. Russia considers it necessary for the training of its military organization and army. doing.”

Vladimir Isachenkov

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