Russia orders withdrawal of troops at Ukrainian border


Elizabeth Boyle, Staff

Depicted above is the Ukrainian and Russian border.

During the week of April 14, 2021, Russia increased its military presence along the Ukrainian border, setting off warning flags for the U.S., Ukraine’s ally.

Russia invaded Ukrainian territory near the Crimean Peninsula in February of 2014. Since then, Russia and Ukraine have been in conflict with each other. Two weeks ago, Russia massed the largest number of its troops near its border with Ukraine since the initial invasion in 2014. That same week, President Joe Biden had a phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and emphasized the U.S. alliance with Ukraine. Western officials speculated that Putin is either testing President Biden or instigating a military conflict in Europe.

In the week of April 22, 2021, Russia ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the Ukrainian border. President Biden is stressing the importance of de-escalating the tension and reducing Russia’s military presence in Crimea and in other areas adjacent to Ukraine. Moscow said the troops will be returning to their normal bases but there has not been any movement yet. Moscow says the date for completing the withdrawal has been set for May 1, 2021. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the removal of troops because it reduces tension and helps to ensure Ukraine’s safety. 

 Russia claims that its movement of forces on Russian soil was training to insure unit readiness. Russia’s Ministry of Defense has stated that the presence of enhanced troop units near the Ukrainian border shows no threat to the status quo. 

Ukraine has requested additional weapons and military aid from the U.S. to deter further Russian aggression. In the future, President Biden may meet face-to-face with Putin, as the Russian president was already involved in President Biden’s virtual climate summit which happened this past week.

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