Despite satellite imagery from just a few days ago, that showed more Russian armored vehicles, mobile rocket artillery systems, and advanced short-range ballistic missile batteries being moved near the border with Ukraine, Russia announced that 10,000 troops were redeploying from the border to their bases after “month-long drills” near Ukraine, Interfax news agency reported on Saturday, citing the Russian military.

While there have been months of tension in Ukraine with fears that Russia will invade the country again after seizing the Crimea in 2014 and the subsequent fighting in the Donbas region with Russian-backed separatists, the announcement of 10,000 troops leaving the region is just a small fraction of the 100,000 troops reportedly along the border. 

Russia had deployed thousands of troops to the north, east, and south of Ukraine which led to speculation in Kyiv and Western capitals that Moscow was planning to invade Ukrainian territory again.

Side-by-side photos comparing an area outside of Ukraine on October 7 and on December 13 showing the influx of Russian troops and armored vehicles. Maxar Technologies photo

“In the troops of the Southern Military District, the stage of combat coordination of squads, crews, and crews in motorized rifle formations, military units of combat arms and special forces has come to an end,” the Russian military said in a statement.