After weeks of tension over a build-up of Russian troops close to Ukraine’s border, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered a number of units in the area back to their bases.
The EU estimated that more than 100,000 Russian soldiers had amassed near the border as well as in Crimea, which was seized and annexed by Russia in 2014.
Speaking in Crimea, Mr Shoigu said units on exercise would return to base.
The aims of the “snap checks” had been achieved, he added.
“The troops have demonstrated their ability to provide a credible defence for the country,” he said, adding that he had instructed the commanders of units from the 58th and 41st armies as well as several airborne divisions to start returning to their “permanent bases” on Friday and to complete the operation