World Bulletin/News Desk
"The moving of units is continuing," the Interfax news agency quoted a Defence Ministry statement as saying.
It said the troops were returning to their permanent bases after conducting military exercises in the border provinces of Rostov, Belgorod and Bryansk.
The Kremlin announced on Monday that Putin had ordered Russian forces near Ukraine back to their bases, but NATO and the United States said they saw no sign of a pullback. Moscow has failed to carry out such promises before.
Moscow has amassed tens of thousands of troops across the border from eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists have declared two independent states. Kiev and its Western allies view them as a threat that Russia might use force to support the rebels.
NATO has seen limited Russian troop activity near the Ukraine border that may suggest some Russian forces are preparing to withdraw, Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday.
"We've seen limited Russian troop activity (in the) vicinity of (the) Ukraine border that MAY suggest that some of these forces are preparing to withdraw," Rasmussen said on Twitter, emphasising the word 'may'.
Meanwhile, Russian military force close to the Ukrainian border remains very large and threatening despite some movement of Russian troops, NATO's top military commander said.
"We have seen some movement. (It's) too early to know where they are moving to or how many of them are moving, but what we do know is the force that remains on the border is very large and very capable and it remains in a very coercive posture," U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, told a news conference.Last Mod: 22 Mayıs 2014, 16:34