A Russian Ministry of Defence spokesman has announced that Russia will begin withdrawing troops from the Ukraine border saying these units have completed their military training exercises in the region.

“Units of the southern and western military districts, having completed their tasks, have already begun loading onto rail and road transport and today they will begin moving to their military garrisons,”  -chief spokesman, Igor Konashenkov.

On Monday the Biden administration warned that Russian troops were ready to launch an invasion as early as Wednesday the 16th of February, “We are in the window where an invasion could happen at any time,” said White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “It could begin this week.”

Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby carried this imminent invasion prediction forward as well saying to reporters, “I won’t get into a specific date, I don’t think that would be smart. I would just tell you that it is entirely possible that he could move with little to no warning.”

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan had said last week that Russia may not wait for the Winter Olympics in China to end on Feb. 20 before invading. Reversing the previous speculation that Russia would hold off on an invasion to allow Chinese President Xi Jinping to glean the maximum propaganda benefit from the Winter Olympics being held in that country.

In the past week, the U.S. has talked up the threat of imminent invasion of Ukraine while its response to that invasion has been very limited in scale: evacuating or repositioning diplomatic personnel, advising Americans to leave Ukraine, and sending a few thousand troops to NATO countries and some weapons to Ukraine. The very limited response seemed at odds with the rhetoric coming from the White House that a major war was about to break out in Europe.

In Ukraine, western media reports of an imminent invasion appeared to have created near panic in the country prompting some Ukrainian business leaders and even politicians to leave the country.  President Volodymyr Zelenskiy appealed to the U.S. and NATO to tone down the imminent invasion talk because of the threat it posed to Ukraine’s economy and the prospect of millions of Ukrainians leaving their homes and fleeing to the borders of NATO countries like Poland, Hungary and Romania creating a refugee crisis.

Ukraine’s own reaction to 130,000 Russian troops on its borders was also very limited, it did not mobilize its army and call up its estimated 900,000 thousand reservists to position near its borders or begin laying up the supplies of food, water, and medicine that it would need for its civilian population if an invasion were to occur.