Pentagon Skeptical of Russia’s Claim of Troop Pull Back

After reported increase in military presence over the weekend.

On Tuesday, Russia’s defense ministry said that some Russian troops near the border with Ukraine are returning to their bases after completing missions there, but other large-scale drills remain ongoing. The announcement came a day after Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Russian President Vladimir Putin added to the military’s capabilities over the weekend. 

In response to inquiries over the claimed troop withdrawal, a Pentagon official said, “We are aware of the reports of Russian claims that they are withdrawing some forces away from the border with Ukraine. Our analysts are reviewing, but we have nothing further at this time.” 

President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley all have spoken with their Russian counterparts in recent days. 

U.S. officials are also monitoring the new joint statement and alliance between Russia and China that reflects the mutual support between the two powers. Even though the statement is silent on Ukraine, China has extended clear support to Russia thinking that both sides “oppose further enlargement of NATO and call on the North Atlantic Alliance to  abandon its ideologized cold war approaches, to respect the sovereignty, security and interest of other countries.” 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For wisdom for the president and secretary of state as they sort through information and determine facts.
  • For State Department officials as they continue diplomatic efforts in Eastern Europe.
  • For discernment for Defense Secretary Austin and General Milley as they advise the president.

Sources: Axios, Washington Examiner, The Diplomat 


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