Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a work meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, ordered to pull out the troops from field exercises in the Rostov region, the press service of the Kremlin said.
According to the Vedomosti newspaper, it goes about 17,600 servicemen. "As a result of the report, the President instructed the Defense Ministry to begin withdrawing the troops to places of permanent deployment," a statement from the department said.
In early September, NATO estimated the group of the Russian troops near the border with Ukraine at 20,000 troops. In late September, a NATO spokesman said that the alliance could see Russia was withdrawing the troops from the border.