Russia has announced that it will allow some troops to return to bases near Ukraine
Some troops in Russia’s military districts adjacent to Ukraine are returning to their bases after completing drills, Russia’s Defence Ministry said on Tuesday, a move that could de-escalate frictions between Moscow and the West.
A ministry spokesperson said in a video published online that while large-scale drills across the country continued, some units of the southern and western military districts have completed their exercises and started returning to base.
The Defence Ministry published video footage showing tanks and other armoured vehicle being loaded onto flatcars on the railway.
Dmytro Kuleba Ukraine’s foreign minister stated that Kyiv would believe in de-escalation only when it sees Russia withdrawing, Interfax Ukraine news agency reported.
“We continuously hear different statements from the Russian federation, so we have a rule … we believe what we see. Kuleba stated that if the pullout is seen, we will believe de-escalation.
Russia has amassed over 100,000 troops in Ukraine’s border areas, raising fears of an invasion. Especially since the Russian military almost surrounded Ukraine during their joint drills with Belarus on February 10-20,
Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor, was due to arrive in Moscow on Tuesday for a high-stakes mission in order to avoid war.
-Source: Reuters. Last updated at 5:40 a.m. ET
Ukraine Russia: What are the causes of the tensions currently?
- Russia has deployed more than 100,000 troops to Ukraine and held large-scale exercises.
- Although Moscow denies any intention to attack Ukraine in the past, it has sought legally binding guarantees from NATO and the United States to ensure that Kyiv is not allowed to join NATO’s military bloc. Washington and Brussels so far have refused to make such promises.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Monday his country would continue to pursue its goal of NATO membership despite Russia’s anger and skepticism from some Western countries. Ukraine is not part of NATO and the alliance does not have a treaty obligation to protect it.
- In Ukraine, citizens-soldiers are being trained to guerrilla warfare amid fears of a Russian invasion.
- Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 after the ouster the country’s Moscow-friendly President. It also supported a separatist insurgency within Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland Donbas where over 14,000 people were killed in fighting.
- Canada, which recently closed its embassy in Kyiv, is sending lethal military equipment worth $7.8M.
-Source: Reuters, The Associated Press, and CBC News
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on Tuesday a full-scale removal of Russian troops from the border with Ukraine was needed after the report that some units were returning to their bases.
Truss stated that she hadn’t read the Interfax report. She would like to see more details. Truss also said that Russians claimed they didn’t intend to invade, but that we will need to see an actual withdrawal of troops in order to verify that.
-Reported by Reuters. Last update at 5:30 a.m. ET
As tensions between Russia, Ukraine and other countries continue to escalate, Josep Borrell, top diplomat of the EU, stated that the European Union is open to discussing Russia’s security concerns.
“In order to fulfil the concerns of everybody, the only way is speaking on the table and discuss,” Borrell told BBC Radio 4. He said, “If there were a war between Russia & Ukraine, Nordstream 2 will not become operational.”
-Reported by Reuters. Last update at 5:10 a.m. ET