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Russia says it is withdrawing some troops near Ukraine, but major drills continue

Russia’s Defense Ministry said troops from its southern and western military districts – parts of which border Ukraine – had begun returning to their home posts, although the announcement did not specify. not where these troops were permanently based, where they had exercised or how many of them were retreating.

Russia has amassed more than 130,000 troops near the Ukrainian border in recent weeks, according to US estimates, raising concerns among Western and Ukrainian intelligence officials that an invasion is imminent.

“The units of the southern and western military districts, having completed their tasks, have already begun to load on rail and road transport and today they will begin to move to their military garrisons. Individual units will march on their own as part of military columns,” Major said. said General Igor Konashenkov in a statement posted on Facebook.

Konashenkov added, however, that large-scale exercises were continuing.

“In the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, a complex of large-scale operational training measures by the forces continues, in which almost all military districts, fleets and airborne troops take part,” he said. “As part of the test of the Union State Response Forces, a joint Russian-Belarusian exercise “Allied Resolve-2022″ is taking place on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.”

In addition, Konashenkov said a series of naval exercises – involving surface ships, submarines and naval aviation – were underway both in “operationally significant areas of the world’s oceans ” and in the waters adjacent to the territory of Russia.

“Exercises continue with military formations and units at other training grounds on the territory of the Russian Federation,” he said. “A number of combat training measures, including exercises, were carried out according to plan.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba expressed skepticism about the Russian announcement at a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.

“Various statements are constantly being made from the Russian Federation, so we already have a rule: ‘Don’t hear and then believe. But see and then believe,'” Kuleba said. “When we see withdrawal, then we will believe in de-escalation.”


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