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Friday's moves came a day after Russia's defense minister declared sweeping maneuvers in Crimea and wide swaths of western Russia over, and ordered the military to pull the troops that took part back to their bases by May 1.
Russia's defense minister on Thursday ordered troops back to their permanent bases following massive drills amid tensions with Ukraine, but said that they should leave their weapons behind in western Russia for another exercise later this year.
The warning during his annual state-of-the-nation address came amid a massive Russian troop buildup near the border with Ukraine. The U.S. and its allies have urged the Kremlin to pull the troops back.
Russia has insisted that it has the right to restrict foreign naval ships’ movement off Crimea, rejecting Ukrainian complaints and Western criticism.
Several doctors have been prevented from seeing Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny at a prison hospital after his three-week hunger strike.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also said Moscow will add eight U.S. officials to its sanctions list and move to shut down the work of U.S. nongovernmental organizations to end what he called interfering in Russia's politics.
The 68-year-old Russian president has been in power for more than two decades. That's longer than any other Kremlin leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says he has started a prison hunger strike to protest officials’ failure to provide proper treatment for his back and leg pains.
Police in Moscow detained about 200 people participating in a forum of independent members of municipal councils on Saturday, an action that came amid a multi-pronged crackdown on dissent by Russian authorities.
Gorbachev, who has stayed in a hospital as a precaution amid the coronavirus pandemic, was scheduled to have a video call Tuesday with his aides who gathered at his foundation to congratulate him.
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