Russia ordered its forces to withdraw from the Ukrainian border and return to their permanent bases on Friday, according to Moscow. It was announced from Ukrainian sources that the country is “on guard”.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Photo gallery.
However, it is not clear if this applies to all of the soldiers who participated in the Russian military mobilization that has significantly increased tensions between Russia and Ukraine in recent times.
On that day, European Union Foreign Minister Josep Borrell stated that 150,000 Russian soldiers were at the Ukraine border and called for relaxation.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the withdrawal as part of a major military exercise in Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014 in violation of international law. Sojogo describes it as “inspections” in the southern and western military areas have now been completed, so soldiers can return to their bases.
According to Shoujo, the withdrawal should be ready by May 1.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that “tensions will be eased” if Russia’s decision proves correct.
“Ukraine is always ready, but welcomes any measure to reduce the military presence and reduce the situation in the Donbas. Ukraine wants peace,” he wrote on Twitter.
The outside world watched anxiously as the conflict escalated.
Zelensky has called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to a meeting in the Donbas region of Ukraine, where an armed conflict is raging between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Putin was aware of the invitation and that the president himself would respond to it if “he deems it necessary.”
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