President Vladmir Putin has directed 17,600 Russian troops stationed near the country’s border with Ukraine to leave the area and return to base, CNN reports.
According to the directive which was announced on the state-run RIA Novosti news agency, the Russian troops have concluded training in the country’s southern Rostov region, although many doubt if any such exercise were taking place, saying the military presence near the border was a threat to invade eastern Ukraine.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has not confirmed the said withdrawal in the region where fighting have been going on since April 2014 between Ukrainian forces an pro-Russia secessionists who declared independence form Ukraine.
The violence has claimed some 2,500 lives although a cease-fire was signed in September between both countries as well as the rebel leaders in Belarus.
The cease-fire has however failed to achieve the desired results as fighting persists in the region although it is has reduced considerably.