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First Russian Soldiers Leave Ukraine Border

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Russian forces engaged in military exercises near the border with Ukraine have, as announced, started their departure. That report news agencies in Russia.

 

The presence of the army has led to great tensions between Ukraine and Russia in recent weeks.

The Russians were accused by Kyiv of threatening “war and the destruction of the Ukrainian state”. Moscow responded by saying that the “Russian activities on Russian soil” posed no threat to anyone. Both countries blamed each other for the tense situation.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Thursday that the exercises would end. The military, according to EU estimates there were about 100,000, must be back at the bases where they are usually stationed by May 1. That announcement was welcomed by Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski, who said his army would remain “vigilant”.

The feud between Russia and Ukraine took place during a resurgence of violence in Eastern Ukraine.

Pro-Russian separatists have been fighting Ukraine’s army since the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014. It has been relatively quiet since July last year due to a ceasefire, but it has been violated several times in recent weeks. The violent conflict has left more than 13,000 dead.

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