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Russia pulls troops from Ukrainian border

Russia said on Tuesday it was withdrawing some of its troops from Ukraine’s borders as it dismissed reports of an invasion as “ostentatious hysteria” by the West.

“We have always said that the troops will return to their bases once the exercises are over. This is also the case this time,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Reuters.

However, it was unclear how many units were withdrawn after a buildup of around 130,000 Russian troops in northern, eastern and southern Ukraine.

Peskov also accused the United States of fueling the crisis by repeatedly warning of an invasion – to the point where Peskov said President Vladimir Putin had joked about it.

“He (us) asks to know if the exact time, to the nearest hour, of the start of the war has been published. It is impossible to understand this maniacal information madness,” he said.

The Kremlin spokesman particularly took issue with moves by several Western countries, including the United States and Canada, to move their embassies away from the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

“It is a kind of ostentatious hysteria, which of course is not based on anything,” he said, Agence France-Presse reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly made jokes about US “hysteria”, according to the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that Moscow would continue its dialogue with the West on security issues and was ready for separate talks on intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

But he also dismissed reports that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine, calling it “information terrorism”.

The withdrawal of troops from the Ukrainian border would be the first major step towards de-escalation in the weeks of crisis with the West.

Russia pulls troops from Ukrainian border
Russian armored vehicles are loaded onto a freight wagon in Bakhchysarai, Crimea.

Footage released by the Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday shows tanks and other armored vehicles being loaded onto wagons.

Still, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kiev would “believe in de-escalation” only after seeing Russia pull out, Interfax Ukraine news agency reported.

“We continually hear different statements from the Russian Federation, so we have a rule…we believe what we see. If we see the pullback, we will believe in de-escalation,” he said in the report.

Russia pulls troops from Ukrainian border
Russian armored units return to their bases by rail.

Britain, which along with the United States led warnings of imminent action, reacted cautiously on Tuesday.

“The Russians have claimed they have no invasion plan, but we’ll need a large-scale troop withdrawal to show that’s true,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told Reuters. LBC radio.

Although Russia has denied ever planning to attack Ukraine, it has demanded legally binding guarantees from the United States and NATO that Kiev will not be allowed to join the military bloc.

Russia pulls troops from Ukrainian border
A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise as part of the joint forces operation in the Donetsk region.

Washington and Brussels have so far refused to issue such promises.

On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared Wednesday a national “Day of Unity” – the day allegedly set for an invasion.

New York Post

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