Russian Forces Claim Intent to Withdraw from Crimean Border and Halt Drills by May 1

Russia announced that it will end its military drills near Ukraine’s border and pull back all troops by May 1.

Russian defense minister Sergei K. Shoigu ordered a partial pullback of troops from the border with Ukraine and said that it was because the training exercise there that had ended.

Shoigu recently supervised the major military exercises in Crimea where aerial, ground, and naval assets participated.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that the drills involved more than 60 ships, over 10,000 troops, about 200 aircraft, and about 1,200 military vehicles.

“I consider the goals of the snap check of readiness fulfilled. The troops have shown their defense capability, and I decided to complete the drills in the South and Western military districts,” said Shoigu.

The pullout order however stated that soldiers leaving from one large field camp about 100 miles from the Ukrainian border should leave their armored vehicles there until the fall

The order to pull out was made right after Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, warned western nations against crossing a Russian “red line.”

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