Putin Surprisingly Orders End of Military Drill
Russian President Vladimir Putin has abruptly put an end to military maneuvers in the west and central parts of Russia, his spokesman Dmitriy Peskov has reported.
He has described the exercises testing combat readiness as "success", as he is quoted by Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
The drills, which were due to end March 3, but involved technical operations until March 7, included about 150,000 troops and hundreds of land and naval units.
On Tuesday morning, they have been ordered to return to their permanent bases.
The military maneuvers were called short before Moscow approved the sending of troops to Ukraine's Crimea region on Saturday.
Tuesday was a night of military tension in Ukraine due to the 16,000 troops deployed across Crimea, which had reportedly declared an ultimatum for Ukrainian soldiers to "surrender".
The alleged deadline expired at 5:00 AM local time, but no apparent action has been taken by the Russian forces.