Azov and Donbass Battalions have been withdrawn from Shyrokyne, Ukraine. Speculation and rumors surround the move as the situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate on a political and regional level. Kiev has dismissed any rumors, stating that the withdrawal is based on an agreement to create a 30-kilometer buffer zone between Ukrainian militias and pro-Russian separatist forces.

This activity has led many to speculate that the new Pentagon support model for Ukraine is being revised, especially as rhetoric between Moscow and Washington amps up. On 28 July, 2015, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pratt, called Russia’s activities in Ukraine “unpredictable and irresponsible.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin has discouraged the U.S.-led training mission in Ukraine known as Operation Fearless Guardian: “This is a dangerous process. We would push for all foreign and illegal military units to be removed from Ukraine.”

The West and East continue to use Ukraine as a tug-of-war field; general chaos is on the rise as Ukraine continues to reel in its Battalions of Territorial Defense (BTD). One of the measures taken by Kiev to maintain control has been to withdraw volunteer fighters from the contested seaside town of Shyrokyne, in Donetsk Oblast.