MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russia’s defence ministry published video on Wednesday that it said showed a column of tanks and military vehicles leaving annexed Crimea across a railway bridge after drills, adding that some troops would also return to their permanent bases.
Moscow announced a partial pullback of forces from near Ukraine on Tuesday. The move was met with scepticism, however, and U.S. President Joe Biden said that more than 150,000 Russian troops were still amassed near Ukraine’s borders.
World powers are engaged in one of the deepest crises in East-West relations for decades, jostling over post-Cold War influence and energy supplies as Moscow wants to stop the former Soviet neighbour ever joining the NATO military alliance.
On Wednesday morning, video footage showed what the defence ministry said were tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and self-propelled artillery units leaving the Crimean peninsula that Moscow seized from Kyiv in 2014.
“Combat equipment and military personnel will be delivered by military trains to the units’ permanent deployment points,” the defence ministry said. “Upon arrival, the equipment will be serviced and prepared for carrying out the next phase of combat training.”
The video, published by the RIA news agency, showed dozens of military vehicles crossing the bridge at night.
A separate convoy of service vehicles drove across a different bridge, the TASS news agency cited the military as saying.
(Reporting by Alexander Marrow and Maxim Rodionov; Editing by Andrew Heavens)