Russia is said to have withdrawn a large part of its troops at the NATO border in order to deploy them in Ukraine. European defense officials report that Russia now only has an emergency cast. Military equipment is also said to have been relocated.

Up to 80 percent of the Russian troops on the NATO border have now been withdrawn. Instead, the soldiers are to be used in the Ukraine war. This is reported by the political magazine “Foreign Policy”, citing European defense officials. Officials said that of the original 30,000 Russian soldiers, only 6,000 are still stationed in the Baltic countries, Finland and Kaliningrad. At the NATO border, Russia now only has an emergency occupation. The troops have “virtually disappeared,” according to a senior Nordic defense official. A number of Russian units are said to have been transferred from Kaliningrad.

“The deduction we have seen in this region over the past seven months is very significant,” he said. Russia is also said to have relocated military equipment such as anti-aircraft systems and missiles. According to satellite images, Russia is said to have given up a missile base around St. Petersburg near the Finnish border. Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said Russia was trying to restore its combat capability in Ukraine amid heavy troop casualties. However, the Russian Air Force, as well as the fleet, would not have changed.

A large part of the troops withdrawn from the region belong to the 6th Army, which defended the borders with the Baltic States and Finland before the war, it is said. The 6th Army was stationed in occupied Kharkiv until Ukrainian troops drove them out in early September. “They threw almost everything they had at Ukraine,” concludes Jonatan Vseviov, Secretary General of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “The ground force deployment was necessary due to a lack of trained soldiers,” Harri Ohra-aho, an intelligence adviser to the Finnish Defense Ministry, said in an email. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of 300,000 men.