In an apparent attempt to halt the escalating violence in southeastern Ukraine, President Vladimir V. Putin said on Wednesday that Russia pulled the troops back from the border, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
"They kept telling us they were concerned about our troops on the Ukrainian border - we pulled them [the troops] back; they no longer stay on the Ukrainian border but are in their bases and at training ranges," Putin said after a meeting with his Swiss counterpart Didier Burkhalter.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian border guards still see the Russian troops and hardware maneuvering along the border with Ukraine, the Ukrainian Border Service reported.
NATO in its turn reported that there is no indication that Russia has pulled back its troops from the border with Ukraine, France's Le Figaro reported with reference to NATO.
"We have no indication of a change in the position of military forces along the Ukraine border," a NATO military official said.