Ukraine Border Security Claims Russia Withdrew Troops, Ukraine Foreign Ministry Says Troops Still on Border
The Agence France-Presse reported Russian troops moved at least six miles away from Ukraine’s border after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to return to their bases.
"The commanders in the exercise areas are now clarifying the routes and movement plans" for the troops to leave, Interfax quoted a ministry source as saying. "The men have started dismantling their tent camps, loading equipment and forming columns of vehicles and armour," the ministry said.
However, Interfax-Ukraine then reported the defense ministry did not see any sign of movement by the Russian troops. "In practice, at least at the moment, their deployment hasn't changed," the Foreign Ministry's Information Policy Director Yevhen Perebyinis said at a press briefing on Tuesday.
Putin moved troops to the border in mid-March and ordered them back for the third time on Monday, but NATO and the Pentagon never saw any evidence of abandonment. On May 12, NATO released satellite images that proved Russia was still on Ukraine’s border. NATO has been putting pressure on Russia to remove troops ever since forces moved into Crimea and annexed the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine. They even called off relationships and talks with Russia as punishment for aggression towards Ukraine and boosted presence in Eastern Europe.