Russia announces end of Crimea military drills, troops leaving

Moscow, Russia | Wed, February 16, 2022

A day after announcing a first troop pullout from Ukraine’s borders, Russia claimed military training in Moscow-annexed Crimea had ended and soldiers were returning to their garrisons.

“Units of the Southern Military District are moving to their permanent deployment positions after completing tactical exercises,” Moscow’s defense ministry said in a statement. Military units were seen crossing a bridge connecting the Russia-controlled peninsula to the mainland, according to state television.

Tanks, infantry vehicles, and artillery were claimed to be departing Crimea by rail, according to the statement. It comes a day after Moscow announced the withdrawal of part of its troops from its neighbor’s borders.

However, Western leaders are still fearful that Russia may strike Ukraine, with US President Joe Biden saying on Tuesday that such an attack was “very much a possibility.”

Despite Russian claims earlier in the day, Biden stated that the United States and its allies have yet to verify the departure of any of the tens of thousands of troops he alleges Moscow has amassed around Ukraine’s border.

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