Russia Withdraws Part of the Troops from Ukraine Border

Russian Ministry of Defense informed on Tuesday that it is withdrawing part of its troops that were deployed in Belarus, close to neighboring Ukraine after they completed their training drills amid fears in the West that the exercises could have been a precursor to an invasion, Russian media report.

The ministry published a video of the military vehicles, including tanks, AMPVs, and self-propelled howitzers, loading for return to their bases and a clip showing Т-72Bz tanks leaving the site of the drills.

According to the chief spokesperson for the ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov, the divisions of the South and West Military Districts are now completing a multimodal march while returning to their places of regular deployment.

After they finished their tasks, troops began loading the rail and automobile transport, and will begin moving back to their military garrisons today, Konashenkov added, explaining that different divisions would be moving separately in military columns.

He also pointed out that drills involving nearly all districts and the Russian Navy continue.

The joint Russia-Belarus “Union Resolve” drills began conducting last week and are scheduled to end on February 20.

The exercises that involve ground forces, heavy equipment such as tanks, and air force maneuvers, according to Moscow, are designed to test and develop the abilities of the two nations to stop and repel foreign aggression.

Western leaders led by the United States have pointed to the troops amassed on the two countries shared border as well as the exercises in Belarus as signs of aggressive intentions and of Russia’s plans for a full-blown invasion of Ukraine.

They went as far to point this Wednesday as starting date of the alleged invasion Moscow has consistently denied, demanding at the same time security agreements that would limit the NATO activity in Eastern Europe.

Blasting the allegations, Moscow also stressed that the whole invasion narrative is fake and is only being used as a pretext for NATO to deploy more troops and military equipment close to the Russian border.

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