Russia announced on Thursday that it will withdraw troops near Ukraine and annexed Crimea, deeming its military exercises over.
The enormous deployment, including dozens of navy ships, hundreds of warplanes and thousands of troops, has been heavily criticised by Western powers.
It was viewed as a show of force amid tensions with Ukraine.
“The troops have demonstrated their ability to ensure a reliable defence of the country,” said Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu in a press release, adding: “So I decided to complete the inspection activities in the southern and western military districts” bordering Ukraine.
Shoigu’s statement did not make clear, however, how many additional troops had been moved to Crimea – nor did he indicate whether all would be pulled back to their permanent bases.
“I consider the goals of the snap check of readiness fulfilled,” he noted.
He also said the heavy weapons deployed to western Russia as part of the drills would be kept there for another massive military exercise later this year.
Shoigu said they should remain at the Pogonovo firing range in the southwestern Voronezh region. The sprawling range is located 160 kilometers (about 100 miles) east of the border with Ukraine.