News / Europe

US Official: Russia Has Withdrawn Most Troops from Ukraine Border

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (R) is greeted by U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Kirk Wagar upon arriving in Singapore May 30, 2014.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (R) is greeted by U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Kirk Wagar upon arriving in Singapore May 30, 2014.
VOA News
Russia has withdrawn most of its troops from the Ukrainian border, but seven battalions, amounting to thousands of men, remain there, officials said Friday.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 U.S.-led NATO military alliance and U.S. officials estimated Russia had up to 40,000 troops stationed along the border. A NATO military official said Thursday that more than two-thirds, or 27,000, had been pulled back.

The NATO military officer, who asked not to be identified, said most of the troops remaining in the border's vicinity "appear to be preparing to withdraw." However, he added, "some units continue to be capable of operations at short notice."

Hagel, speaking earlier on the plane taking him on a trip to Asia and Europe, said,
''Any time you are moving troops away and equipment and assets away, that's promising," he said, "but they are not where they need to be and won't be until all of their troops that they positioned along that border a couple of months ago are gone."

The NATO military officer elaborated: "Any withdrawal does not erase or reverse what has happened in recent months. Russia has staged a military takeover in Crimea, threatened Ukraine by massing troops along the border and supported armed separatist gangs in Eastern Ukraine.

"The security dynamic has been fundamentally changed."

The troops' pullback from the border does not answer questions about Russian forces that may be supporting pro-Russian separatists inside eastern Ukraine. 

The NATO officer said the organization "will continue to monitor the situation closely."

Ukraine's acting defense minister said Friday that Ukrainian forces would press ahead with a military offensive against rebels in the east until peace and order had been restored there.

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 the region.''

VOA's Jeff Seldin contrinbuted to this report, with additional reporting from Reuters..

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Donald Fraser Miles from: Elliot Lake, Canada
May 30, 2014 9:11 AM
I expect Putin to remove the remaining Russian troops. The crisis is over. Ukraine should seek a devolution of power for its eastern territories to semi-independent status. It will not be able to join NATO and keep its territory secure from Russia. It will be able to adopt some European associations/ relationships. Ukraine will need to differentiate its economic and military relationships to maintain its independence and security.
In Response

by: Denis from: Ireland
May 30, 2014 2:24 PM
Crisis in Ukraine started not because of Russia. The first event was revolution. Everything after that is logical result of this. Is the independence worth war, long economic crystals and loosing it's territory?.. And will it become really independent, being part of EU and probably NASA later?..

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs