Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops away from the Ukrainian border for the second time in two weeks. There is currently no sign of retreat from the 40,000 Russian troops that are patrolling the border.
Almost two weeks ago, Putin said that the troops at the Ukrainian border had minimized their presence at the border to “regular exercises at the test grounds.” However, officials reported seeing no change in troops’ activity reports CNN.
The United States had previously threatened consequences if Russia failed to remove the violent troops from Ukraine.
The announcement from Putin comes less than one week before Ukraine will hold its presidential election. Russia is now challenging if the election should take place, accusing Ukrainian troops of attacking their own civilians.
“Such punitive action against its own citizens shows the hypocrisy of the Kiev authorities,” a statement from the Russian foreign ministry said.
Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the troops who remain on the border have just completed an exercise and will now begin the process of retreat. Peskov did not specify the amount of time it would take to complete the transition.
Publication date: May 19, 2014