Russian media on Tuesday reported that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu instructed commanders to initiate the withdrawal of troops deployed on the Ukrainian border and on the occupied Crimean peninsula on 23 April.
Speaking during rapid readiness exercises in occupied Crimea, Shoigu ordered the Armed Forces General Staff, Military Chiefs and Airborne Troops to begin returning to their bases from the Russian-Ukrainian border and Crimea starting April 23.
“I believe that the objectives of the instant inspection have been fully achieved,” said Shoigu, citing Interfax. “The troops have demonstrated the ability to reliably defend the country.”
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“In this regard, I have decided to complete the reviews of the southern and western military district,” he added.
Shoigu ordered ground forces to return to their bases in Vladikavkaz and Novosibirsk, as well as airborne units in Pskov, Ivanovo and the Krasnodar region, by 1 May. The minister ordered military chiefs to “analyze quick inspections at all management levels and draw up a plan to eliminate the shortcomings,” according to Interfax.