Russia says it’s begun partial troop pullback from Ukraine border; NATO urges caution

Moscow is beginning to return troops at the Ukrainian border to their bases, the Russian government has announced.

Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, said troops who had recently been posted along the border with Ukraine had begun their move back to their military garrisons.

Ukraine’s president and Western officials have urged caution over taking Russia’s claims at face value.

Timothy Ash, senior emerging markets sovereign strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, said the move could signal a big defeat for Putin.

In a statement early Tuesday, Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, said troops that had recently been posted to Russia’s southern and western military districts — which share a border with Ukraine

had completed their military drills and “have already begun loading onto rail and road transport and will begin moving to their military garrisons today.

Konashenkov also announced that Russian troops currently engaged in military drills in neighboring Belarus, which shares a border with Ukraine to the latter’s north, would return to their permanent bases when the exercises ended on Feb. 20.

However, in a response to Russia later Tuesday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said: “We in Ukraine have a rule: we don’t believe what we hear, we believe what we see

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