Putin orders troops back to bases after drills near Ukraine - Ifax

MOSCOW Mon May 19, 2014 4:20am EDT

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MOSCOW May 19 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin has ordered military forces that took part in drills in three regions bordering Ukraine to return to the places where they are permanently deployed, the Interfax news agency reported on Monday.

It was not immediately clear whether the order meant there would be fewer soldiers near the border with Ukraine, where NATO has said Russia has amassed some 40,000 troops. NATO and the United States said there were no signs of reductions after Putin said on May 7 that forces had been withdrawn from the border. (Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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