Russian Defense Minister orders troops to move away from Ukrainian border

The Russian Defense Ministry has decided to withdraw the troops concentrated in the southern and western regions, including near the border with Ukraine.

From April 23, the troops of the Southern and Western Military Districts will begin to return to the places of permanent deployment, said the Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu.

The objectives of the combat readiness check, in which, according to the data, Russia transferred about 100,000 military personnel to Crimea and border areas, were "fully achieved."

"The troops have demonstrated the ability to provide reliable defense of the country. In this regard, I have decided to complete the inspection activities in the Southern and Western military districts," Interfax quoted Shoygu as saying.

The minister stressed that the Russian Armed Forces "adequately respond to all changes near the Russian borders" and the exercises "showed a high level of training."

"Brigades and military units have fulfilled the objectives, while being put in the highest combat readiness, moving over long distances, creating groups of troops and forces, successfully fulfilling their training and combat tasks," Shoygu said.

The military readiness check, which covered all military districts and the Northern Fleet, began on April 6. In two weeks, two armies, three Airborne divisions and equipment, including tanks, BMP, long-range artillery, BM-27 Hurricane multiple rocket launchers, as well as heavy flame-throwing systems TOS-1 Solntsepek were deployed to Russia’s western borders.

According to Janes, the 74th and 35th Motorized Brigades, the 120th Artillery Brigade and the 6th Tank Regiment were also deployed to the conflict zone in the Donbas. In early April, a convoy of Iskander missile systems of the 119th Missile Brigade of the Central Military District were spotted near the village of Novaya Usman in the Voronezh region.

In addition to infantry and artillery, four large landing ships of Project 775 (NATO classification - Ropucha) were sent to the Black Sea. They were joined by 15 ships of the Caspian flotilla.

  Shoygu, Russia, Ukraine