Russia to pull troops back from Ukranian border

TEHRAN, Apr. 23 (MNA) – Russia ordered its top military brass to return troops to their permanent bases from the Ukrainian border.

Russia says it had concluded a "snap inspection" of its forces in the country's east and west, near the Ukrainian border.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Thursday said troops had successfully completed drills near Ukraine and would return to their permanent bases by May 1, CNN reported.

"I believe that the objectives of the snap drill have been fully achieved. The troops have demonstrated the ability to provide reliable defense of the country," Shoigu said at a meeting in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Kiev in 2014.

Shoigu's announcement comes weeks after Moscow initiated the largest buildup of troops near the Ukrainian border since 2014. The European Union estimated Tuesday that more than 100,000 troops had amassed near the border and in Crimea.

It was unclear from Thursday's announcement how many troops would remain in the region.

HJ/PR

News Code 172449

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