“Their place on Ukraine isn’t altering,” Mr. Zelensky’s nationwide safety adviser, Oleksiy Danilov, stated in an interview on Thursday, referring to Russia. “They wish to carry again the empire, in these borders that existed within the earlier century.”
All through the buildup, Russian officers by no means formally acknowledged particular calls for, whilst tanks collected on the border. Analysts urged they sought concessions in settlement talks with Ukraine or hoped to dissuade the Biden administration from imposing sanctions.
However the withdrawal started with out Ukrainian concessions and regardless of new U.S. sanctions, introduced final week.
“They didn’t get any apparent concessions from Ukraine they usually didn’t get any apparent concessions from the West,” Sam Greene, director of the Russian Institute at Kings Faculty London, stated in a phone interview. “They didn’t obtain very a lot, on the face of it. They did present they had been prepared to make lots of people very nervous.”
By Thursday night, Mr. Putin’s consideration had shifted to a different post-Soviet Jap European nation by which Moscow seeks to retain its affect: Belarus. The Belarusian president, Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, flew to Moscow for talks with Mr. Putin that the Kremlin stated would final “late into the night” Thursday.
With Mr. Putin’s help, Mr. Lukashenko has brutally put down protests in his nation since final summer season, when he claimed victory in a re-election that critics and Western officers stated was blatantly rigged. In his state-of-the-nation speech on Wednesday, Mr. Putin claimed that Western international locations had plotted to assassinate Mr. Lukashenko.