Russia announces end of maneuvers near Ukraine and in the south
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More than 10,000 Russian troops are back at their base after a month of military exercise near the Ukrainian border, the Kremlin said on Saturday. Moscow is demanding assurances that Ukraine will not join NATO, a condition for more soldiers to leave the area.
At the height of tensions with Ukraine, more than 10,000 Russian soldiers returned to their bases after month-long exercises in southern Russia, especially near the Ukrainian border, at the heart of heightened tensions, said Moscow, Saturday December 25.
The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that these “combat training” maneuvers took place on several military sites in the Russian regions of Volgograd, Rostov, Krasnodar, and annexed Crimea, areas in the immediate vicinity of the Russian Federation. ‘Ukraine.
The ministry specifies that exercises have also taken place in Russian territories further from the Ukrainian border, in the regions of Stavoropol, Astrakhan, the North Caucasus, but also in Armenia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
In its press release, the Russian army does not specify in which bases these troops were redeployed.
“In order to ensure a high state of alert during the end of year celebrations on the military sites of the South Military District, guard units, reinforcements and forces will be assigned to deal with possible emergency situations. emergency, ”she added.
Moscow denies any bellicose intent
For more than a month, Russia has been accused by the West of having massed tens of thousands of soldiers near the Ukrainian border, with a view to a possible military intervention against Kiev.
Moscow denies any bellicose intention and claims to be threatened by “provocations” from Kiev and NATO, and demands that the Alliance undertake not to expand into the former USSR. These demands are to be addressed in Russian-US negotiations in January.
Relations between Kiev and Moscow are already very strained since Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula and the start of a war between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists in the east.
In an interview with AFP on Friday, the secretary of the Ukrainian National Security Council, Oleksiy Danilov, however played down the risk of an imminent escalation.
According to him, the number of Russian troops around Ukraine has increased only slightly, from 93,000 in October to around 104,000 today.
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