Putin orders troops back from border after drills

Putin orders troops back from border after drills
Mon May 19, 2014 17:21:05

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops to return to their permanent bases after drills in the southwestern regions of Rostov, Belgorod and Bryansk, on the border with Ukraine, the Kremlin said.

“As the planned spring stage of the drills, which included redeployment of the troops to training areas in Rostov, Belgorod and Bryansk regions, has come to an end, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu to send troops back to their permanent bases and to go on with their military exercises at training areas nearby,” the Kremlin’s press service said.

In the same statement, Moscow called on Kiev to cease violence in southeastern Ukraine, immediately.

“Russia calls for the immediate cancellation of the punitive operation and violent actions, on troop withdrawal and finding a peaceful solution to all the problems,” the statement reads, adding that President Putin would welcome meetings between the government in Kiev and supporters of federalization.

Sporadic military clashes between Ukrainian troops and self-defense forces have been reported throughout the weekend in the towns of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region – two hotspots of the ongoing military operation conducted by Kiev to suppress anti-government forces there.

Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referendums on May 11, where the majority of voters supported self-rule. Now the breakaway regions are rejecting the idea of participating in the Ukrainian presidential elections on May 25.


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