NATO says Russian troop build-up near Ukraine continuing despite Moscow's claims

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Russia said on Feb. 15, 2022 it was pulling back some of its forces near the Ukrainian border to their bases.

Russia appears to be continuing with its military build-up on Ukraine’s borders despite claiming it is moving troops away from the area, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said ahead of a defense ministers meeting in Brussels. 

Stoltenberg said there were no visible signs Wednesday of “de-escalation on the ground” a day after Moscow asserted it was moving some troops and weapons back to bases after the completion of military drills. Stoltenberg added that Russia has “always moved forces back and forth” and that its release of video footage over the last 24 hours purporting to show its forces on the move “does not confirm a real withdrawal.”

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Stoltenberg said NATO allies “remain ready to engage with Russia.”

The Kremlin on Wednesday said it was in the process of sending back even more troops to permanent bases. It didn’t specify how many. Russia’s defense ministry released a video that it said showed armored vehicles moving across a bridge away from Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

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