Russia was accused by NATO on Wednesday that they are increasing the number of troops. It has amassed at the Ukrainian border, just a day after Moscow claimed that it had begun withdrawing some of its military units.
Western leaders have warned that they are yet to see the evidence. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Tuesday that some units, having completed military drills near the border, were ready for the move.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense said that units from its southern and western military districts, which have deployed thousands of troops close to Ukraine’s border, had begun returning to their barracks.
Military Moves Across Border-
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A Video has released by the military which showed there were tanks pulling back and was being loaded onto rail transports.
A spokesman for Russia’s southern military district also said its servicemen had begun leaving Crimea, where Russia has built up a large force.
Satellite imagery captures Russia’s continuing military buildup near Ukraine. The United States and other western officials, as well as independent experts, expressed caution about the development of troops, saying they would wait to see if Russia really pulls back the troops or not.
Many Russian exercises are noticed and said continuing in neighboring Belarus to the north of Ukraine and in the Black Sea. But Putin himself on Tuesday later appeared to suggest he would not move to recognize the regions immediately.
At a press conference after meeting with Germany’s new chancellor Olaf Scholz, who was visiting Moscow, Putin said that while he believed a “clear majority” of Russia supported the step, for now, he believed Russia should continue to work within the existing peace agreement aimed at ending the conflict in Ukraine, the 2015 Minsk agreement.
“I start from that we must do everything for the resolution of the problem of Donbas, but do it first of all starting from the unfulfilled possibilities of the Minsk agreement,” Putin said.
The parliament vote was denounced in Ukraine, with an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky calling it an “escalatory action.” Ukraine’s foreign ministry said if Putin did follow through with recognition, Russia would “de-facto and de-jure exit the Minsk agreements, with all the accompanying consequences.”
Even as President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia claims the United States is trying to goad Russia into war with Ukraine, new satellite imagery shows no sign of a slowdown in Moscow’s military buildup.