Russia announced Tuesday that some of its military troops would return to base after completing some military trues, but skepticism remains about whether Russia is planning to leave the Ukraine border.

Driving the news: Russia said troops would return to base after finishing major military exercises, per CNN.

  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he doubted Russia’s statement about the military, saying that “various statements are constantly being made from the Russian Federation, so we already have a rule: “Do not hear and then believe. But do see and then believe.”
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Why it matters: “The Defense Ministry’s announcement was the strongest signal yet that Russia might be trying to de-escalate the military standoff near the Ukrainian border, but it was far from clear that the threat of war had passed,” according to The New York Times.

Yes, but: Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general, told reporters Tuesday that there hasn’t been a massive de-escalation, according to BBC News.

  • “We haven’t seen any de-escalation so far,” he said.
  • He said “signs” from Moscow show there is “some reason for cautious optimism,” though.

The bigger picture: Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted Monday that he would be open to negotiations to resolve the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine, The Washington Post reports.

  • Putin’s words came hours before Russian troops were reportedly sent home. Military exercises are still continuing in the area.