Russia begins planned troop withdrawal from Ukraine border

The Kremlin confirmed this Tuesday the start of the withdrawal of its troops deployed on the border with Ukraine b>, emphasizing that it is something “normal” and once again denouncing Western “hysteria” in the face of a supposed invasion of the neighboring country.

“We always said that after the maneuvers (…) l Troops will return to their home barracks. And that is what is happening now. It is the usual process,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov told reporters.

Furthermore, a ministry spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, noted that “the units of the South and West military districts, which have already completed their tasks, began to load on means of transport” and “will begin to return to their barracks today (Tuesday)”.

The announcement, the first sign of détente by Moscow , was vague and it is not known how many soldiers it affects. Russia had deployed more than 100,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine since December. At the same time, Russia continues to carry out military exercises in Belarus, a neighbor of Ukraine, which will last until February 20.

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The withdrawal of some troops was enthusiastically received in Ukraine, whose Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, assured that his country, together with its Western allies, had “managed to prevent a new Russian escalation“.

The Russian announcement also coincides with the arrival in Moscow of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is trying to advance the diplomatic path and try to dispel the specter of an invasion and a war in Eastern Europe.

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This Tuesday, the German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, urged Russia to withdraw its troops from the border . “The situation is particularly dangerous and could worsen at any time,” the minister warned in a statement.