Categories: World News

Russia Completes 10,000-Troop Drills Near Ukraine

In this picture made available by Sputnik news agency, Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the government via a video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, on December 24, 2021. Alexey NIKOLSKY / Sputnik / AFP


Russia announced Saturday that more than 10,000 troops had finished month-long drills near Ukraine, amid Western accusations that Moscow was plotting an invasion of its ex-Soviet neighbour.

The defence ministry said in a statement that the drills for Southern Military District forces had taken place in a host of southern regions including Rostov, Krasnodar and Crimea, which Moscow seized from Ukraine in 2014.

But the drills also took place further afield, including in Stavropol, Astrakhan, North Caucasus republics and even in Russia’s Caucasus ally Armenia.

The defence ministry said the troops were returning to their permanent bases and that stand-by units would be readied for the New Year’s holidays.

READ ALSO: Over 2,000 Flights Cancelled Worldwide As Omicron Hits Holiday Travel

Western countries have accused Russia of massing upwards of 100,000 troops near Ukraine ahead of a possible winter invasion.

According to Kiev’s estimates, the number of Russian troops along Ukraine’s borders has increased from around 93,000 troops in October to 104,000 now.

Russia says it is free to move its forces on its territory how it sees fit and denies that it is planning a large-scale attack.

It has presented the West with sweeping security demands, saying NATO must not admit new members and seeking to bar the United States from establishing new bases in former Soviet republics.

Tensions reached a boiling point on Wednesday when President Vladimir Putin said Russia would take “appropriate retaliatory” military steps in response to what he called the West’s “aggressive stance”.

But he lowered the volume the next day, saying he had seen a “positive” reaction from the United States to Russia’s security proposals and said talks would take place next month.

In an interview on Friday, a senior Ukrainian security official told AFP that there is no risk of an imminent Russian invasion.

Kiev has been battling pro-Russia separatists since shortly after Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014 in a conflict that has claimed over 13,000 lives.



Solomon Elusoji

Disqus Comments Loading...
Published by
Solomon Elusoji
Tags: Russia Ukraine

Recent Posts

  • Africa

Tigray Rebels Claim Dozens Killed In Drone Strike On IDP Camp

  Tigrayan rebels claimed Saturday that dozens of people had been killed in a drone strike on a camp for…

11 hours ago
  • Headlines

Bandit Attacks In Zamfara ‘An Act Of Desperation’ – President Buhari

  President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday reacted to the latest bandit killings recorded in Zamfara State. He described the action…

12 hours ago
  • Headlines

At Least 58 Killed, Four Villages Burnt In Latest Zamfara Bandit Attacks

   The death toll in the recent bandit attacks on Anka and Bukkuyum local government areas of Zamfara State…

13 hours ago
  • Headlines
  • Sports

First 11: Ighalo’s AFCON Absence And This Week’s Biggest Sports Stories

  From Romelu Lukaku’s row with Thomas Tuchel; Odion Ighalo’s AFCON absence to Watford’s eventual release of Senegal’s Ismaila Sarr…

13 hours ago
  • Coronavirus

Nigeria Records 814 New Infections, Four Deaths

  Nigeria recorded has recorded 814 fresh infections and four fatalities from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the statistics which…

16 hours ago
  • Sports

Pogba Return A Month Away, Says Rangnick

  Paul Pogba is not expected to return from a thigh injury for at least another month, Manchester United interim manager Ralf…

17 hours ago