“Russia pulls back 10,000 troops from near Ukraine in surprise de-escalation”

Looks like a blank adapter on the end of that.

“Russia said on Saturday it was pulling back about 10,000 troops from near the Ukrainian border in an unexpected major de-escalation as it gears up for talks on Nato concessions with the United States.

The troops from the Southern Military District will return to their permanent bases after months of drills near Ukraine because they have accomplished their tasks, according to the Russian Defence Ministry.

“A stage of combat coordination of divisions, combat crews, squads at motorised units… has been completed. More than 10,000 military servicemen… will march to their permanent deployment from the territory of the combined arms’ area of drills,” Interfax quoted the army as saying.

The exercises were held in several regions near Ukraine, including in Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, as well as in the southern Russian regions of Rostov and Kuban, according to the report.

Russia has been amassing troops and equipment near the border with Ukraine since October, raising fears of an imminent invasion. Military analysts have said the buildup was inconsistent with regular military exercises.

The Kremlin has denied any plans to send troops into Ukraine, arguing that Russian troops are free to do what they want on Russian soil.

However, Moscow has been pushing for legally binding guarantees from the West that Nato will bar Ukraine or any other eastern European country from joining the alliance and will not deploy any weapons or troops near Russia’s border.” Yahoo

Comment: “… an unexpected major de-escalation.” Unexpected? Not here. The man doesn’t want NATO expanded to his border. Get it? What a strange thing for him to want! pl


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18 Responses to “Russia pulls back 10,000 troops from near Ukraine in surprise de-escalation”

  1. Babeltuap says:

    A global organization to prevent world war has become the main machinery to create tyranny and oppression. Boy, who saw this one coming?

  2. MapleLeaf says:

    Other sources claim this pattern of training is common for this time of year in the SMD, so it really isn’t a de-escalation of any kind.

    Regardless, it has and can be presented as such a thing, and if it gets the diplomatic ball rolling in the right direction, so much the better for us all.

    Still, other sources have suggested that most senior staff in the Russian armed services are expected/forced to retire before the age of 65. Gerasimov and Shoigu both turned 66 this past year, with no sign either is going to retire. This could be viewed as an indication that significant armed hostilities are much more likely than not to break out, and their expertise needs to be retained.

  3. walrus says:

    Putin just emboldened NATO and the chicken hawks. Expect more demands on Russia. Putin is a judo aficionado.

    • cccn says:

      The Russians aren’t (in any tense) planning to ‘invade’ Ukraine. The Ukrainians were (and are) planning to invade the LDNR Republics. Russian troops are permanently deployed close to Ukraine because of the Southern/Western military districts. From Day 0 they have the force structure required to achieve any goal within that theatre of operations.

      As for the chickenhawks in Washington, Pentagon & Brussels – they have something to respond to (Russian Security Demands). It seems that reality is finally starting to hit them; though you will never know with people such as them.

      • Datil D says:

        Fortunately Putin has shown to be very patient militarily, wonder what his first move will be when the Russian Security Demands get the usual lip service and no guarantee. Maybe cut off all energy to the West for starters.

        • cccn says:

          Putin has recently said that the MoD shall provide required action to the Russian government when the time comes, which implies that nothing is yet set in stone (Though deployments and options are pre-gamed and drafted, I am sure)

          I caution everyone in their attempts to figure out what the response is going to be, because whatever they are going to do – it shall be unexpected by most.

        • English Outsider says:

          Mybe not all energy. Just the spot purchases are enough to shift the market.

          But energy supply to the West has to be part of the equation. Supply of natural gas to Europe is something I’ve had in interest in, and that very much from self-interested motives. The Outsider gas hob runs on propane. We only have a few months before we have to buy more.

          I don’t think there’ll be any difficult buying more but the price has rocketed. The badly planned shift to Green doesn’t help but the market’s difficult for other reasons than that.

          The Europeans are saying the Russians are holding back on selling us extra gas. The Russians say the Europeans are not putting in orders for it. All I can find on that recently is this Reuters report.

          “Russia has consistently defended its long-term contracts, saying they guarantee stable volumes and prices. When it sees requests, Gazprom buys extra export capacity, which is in addition to long-term deals, at auctions which is for delivery through the Yamal pipeline and Ukraine.

          But Gazprom has not booked additional capacity for Yamal shipments for December or at daily auctions so far this week, and Yamal flows continued in reverse for a third day on Thursday, while shipments through Ukraine were also down.

          “Gazprom did not book this traffic as its customers, above all German and French companies, who buy gas via this (Yamal) route, did not put purchase requests forward,” Putin said on Thursday.

          “They turned this (Yamal) route into reverse from Germany to Poland… Why? Because we supply gas to Germany under long-term contracts and the price is three to four, (even) six to seven times cheaper than on spot. Just reselling 1 billion cubic metres (bcm) one can earn $1 billion.”

          Germany’s economy ministry declined to comment.”


          So someone’s not telling the truth. Either the Russians are correct and the Europeans aren’t asking for more natural gas or the Europeans are right and Russia’s refusing to sell it.

          It’s a muddled picture. Berlin and Brussels are playing pass the parcel on the licensing of NS2. They now say another four months to get the paperwork checked.

          And there’s been a trend, both in the EU and in the UK, to move over to spot purchase. Spot price in Europe is sensitive to news on delivery of Russian gas, both news on NS2 and news on spot purchases from Russia. The price of my propane following suit.

          Could be that Berlin/Brussels are fooling around. Allowing energy prices in Europe to shoot up while claiming it’s all the fault of the Russians.

          Or could be that the Russians are walking away from the European market. Too much geopolitical grief so put in Power of Siberia II and to hell with it.

          Either way, what’s happening in practice at the moment, even if temporarily, is as if the Germans and Brussels are going with the old Trump/Grenell line and shifting over to American LNG to reduce reliance on Russian natural gas.

          My own view – but I’m no fan of the EU – is that Berlin/Brussels are blaming the Russians because the rest of the EU would not be pleased, if they knew who was really responsible for the current chaos in the European energy market.

    • tedrichard says:

      absolutely right!

      he knows the real military pros in the usa are being marginalized for speaking truth about relative military power available to russia in her own backyard compared to whatever the usa has to haul in quick and the nato charade.

      the politicians in nato and washington are royally setup and they won’t see it coming! they interpret every sign of cooperation, amenability and defusing tension emanating from the kremlin as weakness.

      are they in for a surprise! if things go kinetic nato will be dismantled not just pushed back.

    • Mark Logan says:


      Time will tell.

      Perhaps Putin suspects his adversaries are clowns who never seriously considered they were messing with a real bear. Display some tooth but don’t over-do it, give them a chance to un-pucker their cheeks. Leave clowns a face-saving way out of the room whenever possible.

  4. Fred says:

    In related news, just like at Bastone, the Germans are running out of gas.

    I’m sure that won’t influence the neocon wing of NATO, but it is bound to get the attention of voters, and business owners.

  5. zmajcek says:

    It is bewildering reading MSM “analysis” as to why Putin (always Putin, not Russia) is making all these “mysterious and aggressive” moves.

    Pages and pages of convoluted “analysis”, and yet Russia keeps telling them the same thing over and over and over again. Let’s build a relationship from the point of mutual respect and consideration for each other’s interests, especially when it comes to security.

    Does it really take a major and perilous confrontation to get the message across ?

    The irony is the West keeps missing the opportunity while the leader of Russia is someone like Putin. He might drop dead tomorrow, and be replaced by someone less experienced and much more nervous.

  6. plantman says:

    As Russia’s elected leader, Putin has an obligation to ensure Russia’s security. How can he do that with missile systems in Romania, Poland and possibly Ukraine?

    His demands are entirely reasonable, unfortunately, the western media tries to make him look like the aggressor.

  7. Degringolade says:

    I am always torn on this. I grew up a cold warrior, but in my dotage I have started to realize just how badly it worked. I don’t have a lot of trust for anyone, international politics is a rough game and its rules are quite fluid and we have gotten into the habit of thinking that our interpretation is “correct”. But in the end, that sneaky old bastard that quipped “political power grows from the barrel of a gun”, seems to have had the right of it.
    I am not certain that we have a snowball’s chance in hell of “winning” the Ukraine, worse yet, it isn’t a prize that we would want to take home anyway.

    • JerseyJeffersonian says:

      Yes, sir. As the succinct saw has it, “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes”.

      If ever there were a stupid game, challenging Russia in their near abroad over the country Mr. Martyanov aptly characterizes as “404”, thinking it an effective catspaw, this would be it.

  8. TTG says:

    Ten thousand out and over 100,000 remaining on the border. Well, it’s a start. Even if they all stay, an outright invasion of Ukraine territory is unlikely except in the most extraordinary of circumstances. Such an attack would galvanize Ukrainian nationalism beyond its present levels and, coupled with Ukraine’s plans for total mobilization/defense of occupied territory, exact a price from the invading Russians. I’m sure Moscow has a better plan, less destructive and lethal than even a limited invasion, to guarantee Russia’s security.

    I found an interesting thought by Tatiana Stanovaya, the founder and CEO of the political analysis firm R Politik and a non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center. It follows from the view that Ukraine is not an independent country worthy of continued existence… the country 404 view, a view that Putin certainly seems to share. No wonder so many in the region, including Ukraine, wanted to join NATO.

    “There are at least three sensitive issues linked to the Soviet Union that have huge emotional meaning personally for Putin, and that the world should take into account when seeking to understand Putin’s motives. Firstly, he believes that Russia must be a unitary state and that the Soviet experience that implied national autonomies was a huge mistake. On several occasions, Putin accused Lenin of planting “a figurative bomb under Russian statehood by offering different nationalities their own territories and the right to secede,” “breaking down a 1,000-year-old state” — something that Putin believes he may restore and enforce. It shows how much Putin dislikes dealing with a federalized Russia and would rather deal with the country that governed as a single unit. It also demonstrates Putin’s strong fear of regional ambitions.”

    Putin will be remembered as the man who saved Russia. The question is whether he will be content with that or if his fear of being known as the man who lost Ukraine will haunt his mind.

  9. mcohen says:

    when summer turns to fall
    come the winter rain
    the eagle will call
    to the folded crane
    wait for me at waters edge
    till we meet again

  10. Deap says:

    Scary VP Kamala Harris puts Putin on notice in the following interview transcript:

    MARGARET BRENNAN: Does that mean sanctioning Vladimir Putin directly?

    VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: I’m not going to talk about specific sanctions, but we are making that clear to him, and we are in direct conversations. And we are also working very closely with our allies. And again, let’s use this issue as an example of the importance of the strength of those relationships.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: But in the past alongside allies we’ve sanctioned, it’s been punitive. It hasn’t prevented anything. It hasn’t stopped Vladimir Putin to date.

    VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: And I’ll repeat that the type of sanctions that we’re talking about are sanctions that we’ve not done before.

    But she won’t tell us what those novel sanctions are; the plebes don’t get to know what the cackling patricians are up to. We just have to die in their wars.

    And, when pressed about the “threat” Russia poses to Ukraine, Kamala ran away from the issue, lamely saying “Umm… I cannot talk to you about classified information.”

    So they get to push us toward an unnecessary war without even saying why, hiding the “threat” (or lack thereof) behind the “classified” label.

    Pushing back against Team Brandon’s messaging, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said that Russia won’t tolerate the US using sanctions to turn Russia into a “besieged fortress.”

  11. ISL says:

    Dear Colonel,

    From Horton Hears a Who:

    “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!”

    Perhaps our leaders and intelligentsia are unable to believe President Putin might just say what he means and is faithful to the people of Russia because
    They never do and faithfulness to their citizens is an alien concept.

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