Has Withdrawn Most Troops From Ukraine Border: U.S. Official
Send a link to a friend
[May 30, 2014]
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Russia has
withdrawn most of its troops from the Ukrainian border, but seven
battalions, amounting to thousands of men, remain, a U.S. defense
official said on Friday.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in Singapore to attend a
weekend security conference, has called the withdrawal of thousands
of Russian troops from the border a promising sign, but said all
troops positioned there earlier this year needed to be moved back.
The defense official said that most of the troops had been pulled
"The majority have gone," he told reporters. "But seven battalions
remain." The official said he had no figure for the number of troops
that had withdrawn. "But ... thousands still remain," he said.
Hagel, speaking earlier on the plane taking him on a trip to Asia
and Europe, said it was known that "thousands of Russian troops have
been pulled back and are moving away. We also know that there are
still thousands of Russian troops still there that have not yet
"Any time you are moving troops away and equipment and assets away,
thatís promising, but they are not where they need to be and wonít
be until all of their troops that they positioned along that border
a couple of months ago are gone.
The U.S,-led NATO military alliance has previously estimated that
Russia had around 40,000 soldiers close to the border.Ukraine's
acting defense minister said on Friday that Ukrainian forces would
press ahead with a military offensive against rebels in the east
until peace and order had been restored there.
[to top of second column]
Speaking after 14 servicemen, including a general, were killed on
Thursday when rebels shot down an army helicopter, the minister,
Mykhailo Koval, said: "Our given task is to bring peace and order to
(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Ron Popeski)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.