The Ministry of Defense published a video. It will appear that tanks and other military vehicles leave Crimea via a railway bridge. State television showed pictures of soldiers crossing a bridge linking Crimea to the Russian mainland. The peninsula belonged to Ukraine until it was captured and annexed by Russia in 2014.
More troops on the way
“We haven’t seen any de-escalation on the ground yet,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said. “On the contrary, it seems that Russia continues to build up the military.”
Stoltenberg before the start of consultations with the defense ministers of NATO countries. “What we see is that they have increased the number of troops and there are more troops on the way.”
The Secretary-General of the Western Military Alliance said the cautious optimism he expressed on Tuesday was based on signals from the Kremlin that it was ready to seek a diplomatic solution. But “we have not seen a withdrawal, and this, of course, contradicts that.”
Countries concerned about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine have welcomed the partial withdrawal of forces, but also say they want to see evidence. The Americans recently said the invasion could happen as early as this week, possibly as early as Wednesday.
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It was not clear how many soldiers would remain near the border with Ukraine. Russia said on Tuesday that some units in its western and southern provinces would be leaving, but almost no details were released. The country has gathered more than 100,000 soldiers from Ukraine, in addition, there are also 30,000 who are now participating in large joint exercises with Belarus.
The Kremlin said on Tuesday that the troop withdrawal was not surprising. “We have always said that the forces will return to their bases after the exercises are over,” a spokesman said. Russia has denied from the start any plans to invade. Therefore, the warnings of the West were dismissed by Moscow as hysteria and panic.
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