Russian media on Tuesday reported that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu instructed the commanders to begin withdrawing troops deployed on the border with Ukraine and in the occupied Crimean Peninsula on April 23.
Speaking during snap readiness exercises in occupied Crimea, Shoigu ordered the general staff of the armed forces, military chiefs and the airborne troops to begin returning to their home bases from the Russian-Ukrainian border and Crimea starting April 23.
“I believe that the goals of the snap inspection have been fully achieved,” Interfax quoted Shoigu as saying. “The troops demonstrated the ability to reliably defend the country.”
“In this regard, I have decided to complete the Southern and Western military district reviews,” he added.
Shoigu ordered ground forces to return to their bases in Vladikavkaz and Novosibirsk, as well as airborne units to Pskov, Ivanovo and the Krasnodar region, by May 1. The minister ordered military chiefs to “analyze the snap inspections in all levels of management and draw up a plan to eliminate shortcomings,” according to Interfax.