Is this the Russian President’s end game move?
He has got the attention of European’s on his effort to try to keep the Ukraine from joining NATO….
The leaders are made trek’s to Moscow to talk to him….
The spotlight has been on him and Russia…
With an American President resolute that American troops will NOT fight for a non-NATO country….
Having the Russians massed ?
The Europeans and NATO has actually fallen in line against the Russians…
Even the German’s (and other countries) , who have to worry about getting energy FROM Russia…..
Have stuck together against the Russian threat….
We’ll have to see if Putin’s ‘pull back the troops’ means the Ukraine is free from another territory grab…..
President Vladimir V. Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had decided “to partially pull back troops” as the Defense Ministry announced that some forces from military districts bordering Ukraine were being sent back to their garrisons, a tentative sign that Russia could be stepping away from the threat of an invasion.
The announcement was the strongest signal yet that Russia might be trying to de-escalate the military standoff near the Ukrainian border, but it was far from clear that the threat of war had passed. It couldn’t be determined how many troops were being pulled back, and a Defense Ministry spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said that some military exercises that have raised fears of an attack against Ukraine — including in Belarus and in the Black Sea — were continuing.
U.S. officials said they were still assessing Russia’s troop announcement, and the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said that members of the alliance “have not seen any sign of de-escalation.” Mr. Stoltenberg added that Russia has moved forces around before while leaving heavy weapons in place.
Still, Mr. Putin, speaking at a joint news conference after meeting with the chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, said that Russia was ready for continued negotiations with the West on Russia’s demands for “security guarantees” in Eastern Europe. The comments added to signs that Moscow was willing to pursue its objectives through negotiations rather than launch immediate military action.
But Moscow also added to its leverage in talks when lawmakers in Russia’s Kremlin-backed lower house of Parliament on Tuesday asked Mr. Putin to recognize breakaway states in eastern Ukraine as independent, raising fears that Russia could use such recognition to move more of its military into the areas. Mr. Putin said that he would not immediately recognize their independence.
Defense Minister Sergei K. Shoigu on Monday appeared to characterize Russia’s enormous troop buildup around Ukraine as part of “large-scale drills” being carried out by the military. He told Mr. Putin in a stage-managed meeting broadcast on state television that some of those drills were now ending.
On Tuesday, Mr. Konashenkov said in a televised statement that some troops of the southern and western military districts had “completed their tasks” and were heading back to their bases. Russian state television aired footage of tanks being loaded onto rail cars, describing it as images of troops headed back to their garrisons….
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday said the alliance sees no effort of de-escalation of Russian military presence around the Ukrainian border after the Kremlin announced the withdrawal of some troops.
“So far, we have not seen any de-escalation on the ground, not seen any signs of reduced Russian military presence on the borders of Ukraine, but we will continue to monitor, to follow closely what Russia is doing,” Stoltenberg said when asked about the Russian announcement about withdrawing some troops.
“The signs coming from Moscow about willingness to engage with diplomatic efforts, that gives some reason for cautious optimism.” …