About 10,000 Russian troops have finished over a month of rigorous exercise in regions near the Ukrainian frontier and will be retreating to base, according to Russia's Defense Ministry. The Kremlin told that many soldiers are retreating to their permanent grounds after successfully partaking in "months-long military drills" near the frontier. The announcement comes amid accusations from Western countries that Russia is planning an incursion of Ukraine, something the Kremlin repudiated. The Russian Defense Ministry told in a statement that the operations for the Southern Military District troops had been carried out in places across a stream of southern regions, comprising Rostov, Krasnodar and Crimea, a peninsula Moscow seized from Ukraine in 2014. The ministry asserted in the statement that forces were retreating to their permanent bases and troops will be prepared for "possible emergencies" over the New Year's holiday.
RUSSIA'S RAFT OF DEMANDS COMPELS AMERICA TO TAKE A STEP BACK
Meanwhile, Russia has applied stress on NATO and the West with a slew of demands, summoning for a Russian veto on the acknowledgement of future NATO members, with one eye on Ukraine's apparent entry into the military bloc.
The United States, among others, have provided the Kremlin's request short shrift. Besides, Russia has asked NATO to vacate its multinational regiments from Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Putin instructed the Western nations to make commitments to restrict accumulation and activities ahead of the longer dialogues he will confront in with President Biden in January. "You must give us guarantees, and immediately – now," he said considering a suggestion Russia passed to the United States this month in a move to defuse frictions over Ukraine. Putin asserted that the U.S. had reacted positively to the security invitation and said he was confident about negotiations next year in Geneva, Reuters reported.
A senior US official let out that Washington was "ready to engage in diplomacy as soon as early January," both bilaterally and through "multiple channels