Russia announced on Friday that it had begun withdrawing more tanks and bombers from the Crimean peninsula from the Ukrainian border, which had been Ukrainian territory until 2014 and was annexed by the Russians in 2014.
In the Nizhny Novgorod region, about 1,000 kilometers from Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that “another military train carrying soldiers and supplies from the Troops of the Western military district has returned to its permanent bases.”
See also this text:
- Putin will oversee nuclear weapons training
- The separatists and the Ukrainian government are exchanging accusations
- The German minister criticized Russia
These forces return to their bases after completing the planned training.
A Russian navy spokesman quoted by Interfax as saying that 10 Su-24 bombers parked in the Crimea had left the peninsula and headed for bases in Russia as part of a military exercise.
Firing and explosions in areas of Ukraine occupied by Russian-backed separatists have once again raised tensions.
The U.S. government says Russia has deployed 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine, raising fears of an invasion of the country.
The Russian government has denied such plans, announcing on Tuesday that it would withdraw its troops, with pictures of trains loaded with military equipment to prove it was not enough to convince the West.
Putin will oversee nuclear weapons training
Russian President Vladimir Putin will oversee his country’s military exercises involving nuclear forces on Saturday, the Interfax news agency reported.
“On February 19, under the guidance of the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces Vladimir Putin, the planned training of strategic defense forces will be organized,” the Ministry of Defense quoted Russian news agencies as saying.
According to Moscow, as part of this exercise, “ballistic missiles and ship missiles will be launched”. The exercise will also involve soldiers from Russia’s southern military district, space forces, strategic forces and the northern and Black Sea navies.
The purpose of these maneuvers, according to the ministry, is to “prepare the level” of the forces involved and “reliability of nuclear and non-nuclear strategic weapons.”
In its broadest sense, the Russian “strategic” forces are helping to respond to threats, including nuclear war. They include intercontinental ballistic missiles, long-range strategic bombers, submarines, surface ships and naval aircraft with long-range conventional missiles.
The separatists and the Ukrainian government are exchanging accusations
The Ukrainian military and separatist rebels exchanged accusations on Friday (18) over new bombings in the east of the country. The region has been in conflict since 2014, but the bombings violate the ceasefire agreement.
Picture of a kindergarten in Ukraine bombed on February 17, 2022; Government blames rebels – Photo: Carlos Baria / Reuters
The attacks come amid tensions over the possibility of a Russian invasion of the country. The separatist insurgents are pro-Russian and are suspected of being funded by the Russian government.
Ukrainian officials say pro-Russian separatists have violated the ceasefire 20 times. Meanwhile, pro-Moscow rebels have reportedly fired 27 shots in the past few hours by the Ukrainian military.
The two parties had already exchanged allegations of attacks on Thursday. The rebels reached a day care center, but the Ukrainian government said there were no injuries or deaths.
The Russian government has said that the situation in the Donbass region of Ukraine is very dangerous and precarious.
The German minister criticized Russia
On Friday, shortly before the start of the annual security conference in Munich, German Foreign Minister Annalena Barbach said Russia was endangering peace policies in Europe through “Cold War demands.”
“With unprecedented troop deployments on the Ukrainian border and demands for the Cold War, Russia is challenging the basic tenets of the European peace order,” Barbach said in a statement. . “”.
Officials and diplomats from around the world will hold a three-day meeting on security and security issues in the southern German city from this Friday.
Among the participants were US Vice President and Secretary of State Kamala Harris and Anthony Blinken, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Gelen.
Russia did not accept the invitation. “It is a shame that Russia did not use this opportunity,” Barbach said.
“We will use Munich to send a message of solidarity: we are ready to have a serious dialogue on the security of all, but serious steps towards Russia’s expansion must be supported by the withdrawal of troops that can be verified,” Barbach said.
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