The Russian Federation has announced the return of the Airborne Forces' units, which allegedly took part in joint-force military drills in Russia-occupied Crimea, to their permanent bases.
The relevant information has been posted on the Russian Defense Ministry's website.
The Kremlin's propagandists immediately released another footage to demonstrate the withdrawal of the troops.
Read alsoOne Ukrainian soldier killed, three wounded as their truck blows up in Donbas"Servicemen of the Pskov Guards Airborne Assault Formation, who took part in the exercises, have begun to transfer personnel to the permanent bases by military transport aircraft from the Kirovske airfield in the Republic of Crimea to the Kresty airfield in Pskov. Convoys of military and special equipment with crews are en route to the permanent bases," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Russia claims about 40 military convoys are involved in the redeployment of the airborne units. Also, more than 30 sorties of military aviation aircraft are planned, which will deliver paratroopers' personnel and equipment to the permanent bases.
Ren.TV propagandists filmed military equipment being pulled back.
Ukraine's comment on withdrawal of Russian troops
Speaking in an interview for the RBC Ukraine news agency, chief of the State Border Guard Service Serhiy Deineko confirmed the partial withdrawal of troops from the territory of occupied Crimea. But no progress in pulling back Russian troops from the eastern border of Ukraine in Russia's Voronezh region has been observed, he said.
"After the announcement made by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to launch the withdrawal of troops as of April 23, indeed, our intelligence has seen the partial start of the process... Now we see this process on the territory of temporarily occupied Crimea," he said.
The build-up of enemy troops and military equipment remains near the city of Voronezh and the town of Boguchar, which is 20 km from the border with Ukraine.
In his opinion, it is too early to say that Russia will withdraw its troops from all the Ukrainian borders.
Russian troops amassing along Ukraine's borders
- On March 30, 2021, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak said Russia had deployed 28 battalion tactical groups along the state border of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied territories. It is also said to be planning to bring up to 25 battalion tactical groups under the guise of preparing for military drills. Such actions pose a threat to Ukraine's military security.
- According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, enemy troops are reinforcing their advanced units with reconnaissance teams and sniper pairs, involving Russian army instructors in personnel training. Russia-led forces' artillery units are reportedly on full alert in certain districts, including villages and towns in occupied Ukrainian territory.
- On March 31, 2021, The New York Times reported Russia was pulling 4,000 troops to the border with Ukraine.
- Footage was shared on the Internet, showing a train with Russian military hardware en route along the Kerch Strait bridge to occupied Crimea.
- The U.S. European Command raised its alert status to the highest level after fighting had resumed between Russia-led forces and Ukrainian troops in Donetsk region.
- The U.S. Department of Defense said it was "aware of Russian troop movements" on Ukraine's borders and was concerned about recent escalations of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.
- The United States, finding reports of Russian military movements on Ukraine's border credible, asked Moscow to explain the "provocations" and is ready to engage on the situation.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Moscow was trying to put pressure on Kyiv by amassing its military forces along the Russian-Ukrainian border.
- On April 8, 2021, Khomchak assured the situation was under control, and the Ukrainian military was ready to respond to the escalation both in the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk and Donetsk regions and along the entire Ukrainian-Russian border.
- On April 22, 2021, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said his country would begin the withdrawal of troops, which had taken part in military exercises in occupied Crimea and near the borders of Ukraine, to their permanent bases in the Southern and Western Military Districts.