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Putin orders Russian troops to pull back from Ukraine border

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops, he said were staging military drills in areas near Ukraine, to return to their home.

This announcement was made by the Kremlin prior to that crucial presidential election in Ukraine.

Raise some eye brows about Russia’s actions, which Western countries have protested, the deployment of tens of thousands of Russian troops near the Ukraine border, expressing concern that might be a preparation for a land grab after Russia annexed Crimea in March.

Both NATO and the Pentagon said Monday they have yet to see any signs of troop movements.

On May 7, Putin made a similar announcement about troop withdrawals, which also could not be confirmed.

Moscow called on Kyiv Monday to, immediately, withdraw its troops from eastern Ukraine, where they have been battling a pro-Russian insurgency.

“Russia calls for an immediate cessation of the punitive operation, all violent actions, a withdrawal of troops and for the resolution of all existing problems only by peaceful means,” a Kremlin statement said.

Ukrainian authorities say they are fighting “terrorists” and “separatists” in the eastern part of the country.

Armed pro-Russian rebels both of its Ukraine’s eastern regions have declared their independence from Ukraine and voiced support for joining Russia. Violent of small groups have broken out in numerous eastern cities between Ukrainian security forces and the insurgents.

Both the United States and its European allies have warned Moscow that they will impose new sanctions against key economic sectors of the Russian economy if it disrupts a presidential election to be held on Sunday.

There were at least two million people that would prevent from voting, as the Ukraine Central Election Commission said on Saturday.

Ukraine's Prime Minister, Arseniv Yatsenvuk, insisted on Monday that balloting will be held throughout the country.

“We are aware that in some places, polling will be difficult but there won’t be many such places, and this will not impact the election results,” Interfax-Ukraine quoted him as saying.

Yatsenvuk said the vote will be legitimate and Ukraine will get “a legitimately elected president.”

Ukrainian business tycoon Petro Poroshenko commands a decisive lead in pre-election opinion polls, and could secure more than 50 percent of votes needed to win in the first round.


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