The United States is seeing some Russian personnel withdrawing after a huge build-up near Ukraine but it is still early and Moscow's announcement of its redeployment alone is "insufficient to give us comfort."
That's according to a senior U.S. defense official who told Reuters on Friday.
"It's a bit too soon to tell exactly what forces are withdrawing and exactly what equipment appears to be left behind. But I can just tell you, we're looking very, very closely," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Read alsoU.S. reacts to Russia's statement on withdrawal of troops from Ukraine's bordersRussian troops massing 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.
- Fifteen warships of Russia's Caspian Flotilla entered the Black Sea.
- Russia also deployed in occupied Crimea Su-25SM3 warplanes from Russia's Stavropol Krai (Territory).
- On April 20, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the number of Russian troops on the borders with Ukraine would increase to over 120,000 servicemen in a week.
- On April 22, 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.