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RF announces withdrawal of some troops from Ukraine. MFA and Zelenskyy respond

Russia has promised to withdraw the troops of the two Districts from the Ukrainian border. Photo: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

Russia has promised to withdraw the troops of the two Districts from the Ukrainian border. Photo: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

The Russian Ministry of Defense announced the return to the places of permanent deployment of forces of the Western and Southern Districts. According to the agency, they have already completed the combat training provided for by the plan.

Quote"The units of the Southern and Western Military Districts that completed the task have already begun loading onto rail and road transport and will start moving to their military garrisons today. Separate units will march on their own as part of military convoys," Interfax quotes the words of Igor Konashenkov, Spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry.

He stresses that the rest of the forces, including "virtually all military districts, fleets, and airborne forces" will continue the maneuvers as scheduled. This means that the soldiers of the Eastern District and the paratroopers will continue to take part in the joint Russian-Belarusian drills Allied Resolve. Naval exercises will also be held without changes.

According to RBC, the soldiers of the Southern District who took part in the maneuvers in Crimea will also return "home" shortly.

Quote"The units of the Southern Military District that have accomplished their tasks as part of the planned tactical exercises at the combined arms training grounds of the Crimean Peninsula, have started returning to their permanent bases," said District Spokesperson Vadim Astafyev.

The MFA and Office of the President responds to withdrawal of some Russian troops

Dmytro Kuleba, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated during an online briefing that he was going to believe what was said only when he saw it. He added that Ukraine, together with Western partners, managed to avert a possible escalation.

The Office of the President called the statement of the Russian Defense Ministry "the right signal." However, as Mykhailo Podoliak, Adviser to the head of the Presidential Office, told LIGA.net, the Ukrainian side is not ready to take everything Moscow says at face value. He added that intelligence and special services would control how Russia would follow up on its words.

Context. On Sunday, Joe Biden's National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan warned that Moscow could resort to another invasion of Ukraine as early as this week. Prior to that, according to Politico, Biden himself assumed that a Russian invasion could occur on February 16. A new attack in the period from 15 to 16 February was also previously predicted by the German newspaper Der Spiegel (with reference to the CIA).

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