Some troops in Russia’s military districts adjacent to Ukraine are returning to their bases after completing drills, Russia’s defense ministry was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
Russia’s Interfax news agency cited the ministry as saying that while large-scale drills across the country continued, some units of the Southern and Western military districts had completed their exercises and started returning to base.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
The reported movements run counter to warnings from the United States and Britain that Russia may be poised to invade Ukraine at any time.
Russian financial markets rosestrongly on Tuesday on a report that Russia was pulling backsome troops from near the Ukrainian border, as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz flew into Moscow for Kremlin talks with President Vladimir Putin.
Russian shares and the rouble, which have been hit by fears of impending conflict, rose sharply after Russia’s defenseministry said that some units in military districts adjacent to Ukraine were returning to their bases after completing drills.
It was not immediately clear if that was a tentative signal of any kind of significant pullback.
Russian and Ukrainian government bonds also rallied sharply.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Britain would need to see a full-scale removal of Russian troops from the border with Ukraine to believe that Moscow has no plans for an invasion.
Video footage provided by the defense ministry and published by the RIA news agency showed some tanks and other armored
vehicles being loaded onto railway flatcars.
The ministry said it would use trucks to move some hardware while some troops would march to bases on their own.
Russia has amassed over 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, including a large contingent on joint drills in Belarus until February 20, meaning that Ukraine is almost encircled by the Russian military.
Russian markets reacted positively to the news and the ruble,which has been under pressure due to fears of fresh Western sanctions in the event of a war, gained 1.5 percent shortly after the defense ministry announcement.
Moscow has denied ever planning to attack Ukraine but is demanding legally binding guarantees from the United States and
NATO that Kyiv will not be allowed to join the military bloc. Washington and Brussels have so far refused to make such
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was expected in Moscow later on Tuesday to meet President Vladimir Putin in a high stakes mission to avert war.
United States offers Ukraine a loan guarantee of up to $1 blnThe United States is offering Ukraine a sovereign loan guarantee of up to $1 billion to help its economy amid pressure from Russia’s military buildup, ... World News
Japan PM Kishida to call Ukraine leader over Russian invasion fearsJapanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky later Tuesday, a government source said, as Tokyo ... World News
European airlines pull services back further from UkraineEuropean carriers took further steps to avoid Ukraine, while airline shares sank after tension mounted through the weekend over Russia’s troop buildup ... Aviation & Transport
Russian mercenaries with spy links increasing presence in Ukraine: ReutersRussian mercenaries with ties to Moscow's spies have increased their presence in Ukraine in recent weeks, stoking fears among some NATO members that ... World News
UN chief speaks with Russia, Ukraine, still believes there will not be conflictUN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke separately on Monday with the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine and still believed “from his own ... World News
US closes Kyiv embassy, destroys equipment amid warnings of Russian invasionUkraine’s National Guard Police will guard the embassy, but the US “fully intends” to return when it becomes “safe to do so.” World News