The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

May 8, 2014

Putin: Troops have pulled back from Ukraine border

DONETSK, Ukraine — Russian President Vladimir Putin softened his tone in the confrontation with the West on Wednesday, declaring that Russia has pulled its troops away from the Ukrainian border and calling for a delay of Sunday’s referendum on autonomy in Ukraine’s restive east.

But there were no immediate signs that either move was truly happening or that they would cool the Ukrainian crisis. NATO and Washington said they saw no indication of a Russian pullback, and the pro-Russia insurgents behind the referendum have not agreed to go along with Putin’s proposal.

In a Moscow meeting with Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, Putin said Russian troops have been pulled back to their training grounds and locations for “regular exercises,” but he did not specify whether those locations were in areas near its border with Ukraine.

A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman declined to say where the troops were now positioned.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the U.S. had “no evidence” of a pullback, and NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters that the alliance had “not seen any sign that Russia is withdrawing its troops.”

Putin also reiterated Russia’s demand that Ukraine’s military halt all operations against the pro-Russia activists who have seized government buildings and police stations in at least a dozen towns in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine launched an offensive late last week to take back the buildings and towns under insurgent control. At least 34 people, including many rebels, have died in that offensive, the government said.

Many had feared that Sunday’s vote would be a flashpoint for further violence between the rebels and Ukrainian troops. Insurgents were calling the ballot a vote on giving regions more autonomy, but Kiev authorities feared it could be a pretext for separatists or those who want the region to join Russia.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World
  • August begins with low gasoline prices

    NEW YORK — The gasoline price roller coaster is running a strange course this summer....

    August 2, 2014

  • Israel pushes deeper into Gaza after soldier is abducted

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Backed by tank fire and airstrikes, Israeli forces pushed deep into southern Gaza on Friday, searching for an Israeli army officer believed to be captured by Hamas fighters during deadly clashes that shattered an ...

    August 2, 2014

  • Target taps outsider as CEO for shakeup

    NEW YORK — Target is bringing in an outsider as its CEO for the first time as the retailer fights to redefine itself to American shoppers....

    August 1, 2014

  • Israel and Hamas agree to 72-hour hiatus to negotiate peace deal

    JERUSALEM — Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire beginning today, during which time there will be negotiations on a more durable truce in the 24-day-old Gaza war, the United States and United Nations announced ...

    August 1, 2014

  • India landslide kills 21

    NEW DELHI — Rescuers worked in rain today to dig through a remote village in western India where at least 21 people died as a landslide swept away scores of houses, possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said....

    July 31, 2014

  • Israeli strike hits UN school

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli artillery shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with sleeping war refugees and back-to-back explosions rocked a market filled with shoppers Wednesday as Israel’s stepped up campaign against ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Busted water main dumps 20 million gallons of water into UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and adjacent garage

    LOS ANGELES — The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles into a mucky mess points to the risks and expense many cities ...

    July 31, 2014

  • GOP-led House gives go-ahead for suit

    WASHINGTON — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Just a day before ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Senate approves new VA secretary

    WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans’ waits for health care and VA ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senate passes highway bill, sends it to House

    WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday voted to change the funding and timing of a House bill to keep federal highway funds flowing to states in an effort to force Congress to come to grips with chronic funding problems that have plagued ...

    July 30, 2014