Home > News > World
Friday May 30, 2014 MYT 6:20:02 PM
Friday May 30, 2014 MYT 6:21:29 PM
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Russia has withdrawn most of its troops from the Ukrainian border, but seven battalions, amounting to thousands of men, remain, a U.S. defences official said on Friday.
U.S. Defences Secretary Chuck Hagel, in Singapore to attend a weekend security conference, has called the withdrawal of thousands of Russian troops from the border a promising sign, but said all troops positioned there earlier this year needed to be moved back.
The defences official said that most of the troops had been pulled back.
"The majority have gone," he told reporters. "But seven battalions remain." The official said he had no figure for the number of troops that had withdrawn. "But ... thousands still remain," he said.
Hagel, speaking earlier on the plane taking him on a trip to Asia and Europe, said it was known that "thousands of Russian troops have been pulled back and are moving away. We also know that there are still thousands of Russian troops still there that have not yet moved.
"Any time you are moving troops away and equipment and assets away, that’s promising, but they are not where they need to be and won’t be until all of their troops that they positioned along that border a couple of months ago are gone.
The U.S,-led NATO military alliance has previously estimated that Russia had around 40,000 soldiers close to the border.Ukraine's acting defences minister said on Friday that Ukrainian forces would press ahead with a military offensive against rebels in the east until peace and order had been restored there.
Speaking after 14 servicemen, including a general, were killed on Thursday when rebels shot down an army helicopter, the minister, Mykhailo Koval, said: "Our given task is to bring peace and order to the region."
(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Ron Popeski)
Russia, West trade accusations over Ukraine crisis at U.N
Kerry, Karzai narrow differences over security deal - U.S. official
Ukraine says its 10 ships in Crimean port stay loyal
Congo's army takes border town, closes in on last rebel positions
U.S. sends Army planners to Amman but wary of Syria intervention
Ukraine, Russia, EU energy chiefs meet to finalise gas deal
EU targets ministers, UAE firm in latest Syria sanctions
Canadian soldier dies after being run down by suspected militant
War heroes and activists to shape new-look Ukraine parliament
Ukraine and possibly rebels used cluster bombs - rights watchdog
Sudan's Bashir chosen by ruling party as candidate for 2015 elections
Woman down chimney after online dating goes bad
Van Gaal's United not good enough, says Neville
Tenaga National's new ad reflects the profundity of Deepavali
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)