Russia has announced a new withdrawal of troops from annexed Crimea

Moscow said on Thursday it was returning military forces to their bases after the end of war games, which sparked Western fears that Russia planned to attack Ukraine.

These announcements are the latest reports of a reduction in the Russian military contingent, which the West estimates is more than 100,000 troops, which Washington says could be preparing for an invasion.

“Units of the Southern Military District, which have completed tactical exercises at the training grounds on the Crimean peninsula, are returning by rail to the place of permanent deployment,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

State television has shown columns of military equipment crossing a newly built bridge connecting the peninsula with mainland Russia.

Separately, the Ministry of Defense reported that “tank units of the Western Military District began to return to the place of permanent deployment” after participating in the exercise.

It does not specify where these forces were deployed, but says they will be delivered by rail for about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) to their garrisons.

Later, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Kanashenkov said that the troops of the Southern Military District had returned to their garrisons in the North Caucasus republics of Chechnya and Dagestan after exercises in Crimea.

Kanashenko added that troops conducting exercises in the Kursk and Bryansk regions bordering Ukraine had returned to a base near Nizhny Novgorod, about 300 kilometers east of Moscow.

Leaders of NATO, the United States and European countries are denying a significant withdrawal of Russian troops, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the Moscow military is actually saving.

Russia took control of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and took the attention of pro-Moscow separatists in the fighting that began that year and claimed more than 14,000 lives.

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China can take advantage of the Ukrainian crisis: an American general

Singapore (AFP) February 16, 2022

China could take advantage of the Ukrainian crisis and do something “provocative” in Asia, while Western powers are focused on easing tensions with Russia, the US general warned on Wednesday. Russia’s deployment of more than 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine has raised fears of invasion in Washington and other Western capitals. General Kenneth Wilsbach, head of the U.S. Pacific Air Force, noted that China has sided with Russia in the crisis, raising questions about its own intentions i … read on Russia has announced a new withdrawal of troops from annexed Crimea

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