ALL A BLUFF? Putin Makes Bizarre Troops Movements Near Ukraine

With the world’s attention turned intently toward Eastern Europe, a strange new twist to the tale has arrived.

Russia has appeared, for weeks, to be on the verge of invading Ukraine.  Hundreds of thousands of troops have been amassing on the border between the two nations, as well as in Kremlin-ally Belarus.

This, understandably, had much of the rest of the world clamoring for answers and sending threats to Moscow.  Now, in what may be more of Vladimir Putin’s tomfoolery, it appears as though Russian troops are now leaving the region en masse.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said Tuesday that some of the forces the country had massed close to its border with Ukraine over the last four months were being pulled back to their bases, but the U.S. and its allies were in no rush to accept the remarks as an indication that Russia is, in fact, deescalating. The buildup of well over 100,000 troops and a significant portion of Russia’s military hardware along Ukraine’s borders has drawn increasingly dire warnings from the United States of a possible imminent invasion.

The Russian government has always maintained the buildup poses no threat to Ukraine and that its troops would return to their bases after carrying out what Moscow insists are just military exercises. But the biggest buildup of ground forces and war machines in Europe since the Cold War has set off alarm bells for months in the West.

This now begs the question:  Was Putin punking us all along, or was he testing the West’s reaction time?

In either case, the Russian scoundrel’s actions certainly deserve further analysis.