Putin Orders Russian Troops Home

Is President Vladimir Putin wondering if grabbing land from Russia’s neighbors was a bad idea after all? On Monday, he ordered Russian military units on “planned spring training exercises” back to their home bases after criticism from the West and threats of more sanctions. The Kremlin has denied keeping the 40,000 troops in the region as a strategy to annex more of Ukraine after quasi-invading Crimea in March, and Putin has previously claimed to order them to retreat. This time, it appears the move is an attempt to de-escalate the crisis ahead of Ukraine’s presidential vote on Sunday.