Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly has ordered troops participating in military exercises in western Russia near the Ukraine border to return to their permanent bases.

That's what a Putin spokesman tells the Interfax news agency. The order comes almost a week after Russia began massive exercises involving most military units in western Russia, stoking fears that the Kremlin might use the troops to seize territory in pro-Russian areas of eastern Ukraine.

Russian troops said to be 16,000 strong tightened their stranglehold on Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula over the weekend, openly defying calls by the U.S. and European Union to withdraw from the region.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus