Russia says some troops return to base, Ukraine reacts cautiously

MOSCOW, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Russia stated on Tuesday a few of its army items have been returning to their bases after workouts close to Ukraine, following days of U.S. and British warnings that Moscow would possibly invade its neighbour at any time.

It was not clear what number of items have been being withdrawn, and by what distance, after a build-up of an estimated 130,000 Russian troops to the north, east and south of Ukraine.

The event drew a cautious response from Ukraine and Britain however prompted a pointy rally on monetary markets. Western army analysts stated it was too quickly to make sure of the extent of any de-escalation.

Register now for FREE limitless entry to

“We have all the time stated the troops will return to their bases after the workouts are over. That is the case this time as properly,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated.

He accused the US of fuelling the disaster by warning repeatedly of an impending invasion, to the purpose the place Peskov stated President Vladimir Putin had made jokes about it.

“He asks (us) to seek out out if the precise time, to the hour, of the beginning of the struggle has been printed. It is unimaginable to be understanding of this manic data insanity,” Peskov informed reporters.

Britain, which with the US has led the warnings of imminent motion, reacted cautiously.

“The Russians have claimed that they don’t have any plans for an invasion, however we might want to see a full scale elimination of troops to point out that’s true,” International Secretary Liz Truss informed LBC radio.

Ukraine’s International Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated Kyiv would solely consider that Russia was transferring to de-escalate the state of affairs if it noticed for itself that Russian troops have been being pulled again.

“If we see a withdrawal, we’ll consider in a de-escalation,” Interfax Ukraine quoted him as saying.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, on the most recent Western diplomatic mission to defuse the disaster, started talks with Putin within the Kremlin.

A Russian defence ministry spokesman stated that whereas large-scale drills throughout the nation continued, some items of the Southern and Western army districts adjoining to Ukraine had accomplished their workouts and began returning to base.

Russian servicemen drive tanks throughout army workouts within the Leningrad Area, Russia, on this handout image launched February 14, 2022. Russian Defence Ministry/Handout by way of REUTERS/File Picture

The Southern army district stated its forces had began withdrawing from Crimea and returning to their bases after finishing drills on the peninsula, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014.

Video footage printed by the defence ministry confirmed some tanks and different armoured automobiles being loaded onto railway flatcars.

“February 15, 2022 will go down in historical past because the day Western struggle propaganda failed. Humiliated and destroyed with out a single shot fired,” Russian International Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated.

Russian shares, authorities bonds and the rouble, which have been hit by fears of impending battle, rose sharply, and Ukrainian authorities bonds additionally rallied.


Western army analysts have been cautious concerning the significance of the most recent troop actions.

Lots of the Russian forces in Belarus for drills because of finish on Sunday have come from 1000’s of miles away within the Jap Navy District. Tuesday’s announcement made no point out of these forces.

“Doubtlessly excellent news, however we must always wait to see the place the Jap and Central Navy District goes, particularly after Feb 20,” Rob Lee, a army analyst who specialises in Russia, wrote on Twitter.

“So long as that is still close by, Russia can have the capability to conduct a major escalation, although probably not on as quick discover.”

Konrad Muzyka, director of the Poland-based Rochan consultancy, informed Reuters it might take a number of days to confirm the most recent strikes by way of satellite tv for pc imagery.

“It also needs to be famous that new trains with gear from Central Russia carry on arriving close to the border and that Russian forces proceed to maneuver in direction of staging areas. The announcement stands in a direct opposition to what Russia has been doing for the previous few days,” he stated.

Business satellite tv for pc photographs taken on Sunday and Monday confirmed a flurry of Russian army exercise at a number of places close to Ukraine, in accordance with the personal U.S. firm that launched the images.

U.S.-based Maxar Applied sciences pointed to the arrival of a number of giant deployments of troops and assault helicopters in addition to new deployments of floor assault plane and fighter-bomber jets to ahead places. learn extra

Register now for FREE limitless entry to

Reporting by Sarah Marsh, Anton Kolodyazhnyy in Moscow, Kylie MacLellan in London; writing by Tom Balmforth and Mark Trevelyan; Modifying by Angus MacSwan

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

Supply hyperlink