Russia announces end to military drills in Crimea

Feb 16, 2022: According to a report by AFP, Russia on Wednesday said military drills in Moscow-annexed Crimea had ended and that soldiers were returning to their garrisons, a day after it announced a first troop pullback from Ukraine’s borders.

A statement by Russia’s defence ministry read, “Units of the Southern Military District, having completed their participation in tactical exercises, are moving to their permanent deployment points,”

Visuals on state television showed images of military units crossing a bridge connecting the Russian-controlled Crimean peninsula to the mainland. The statement said tanks, infantry and artillery were leaving Crimea by train. This comes a day after Moscow’s statement that it was withdrawing some troops stationed on its neighbor’s borders.

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But Western leaders are concerned that Russia could still invade Ukraine, with U.S President Joe Biden warning on Tuesday that a Moscow attack was “very likely.” Biden said that despite Russia’s first day’s claims, Washington and its allies have not yet confirmed the withdrawal of any of the tens of thousands of troops that Moscow says it now has gathered along the Ukrainian border.

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