(QHA) -

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops that took part in military exercises this week to return to base, Russian news agencies quoted the Kremlin spokesman as saying on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

Dmitry Peskov said the military exercises, which Moscow denied were linked to events in Ukraine, had been a success. The exercises took place across western Russia, an area which borders Ukraine.

According to Ukraine's acting defense minister Ihor Teniukh Russian military have blocked most of the military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Crimea.

He says that the major goal of such action by the Russian side is an attempt to provoke Ukrainian military men so that "they respond to that provocation, and then the operation that was planned long ago and whose planning took more than a year could become a reality."

At emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, Kiev's U.N. Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev stressed that Russia has deployed roughly 16,000 troops to Ukraine's autonomous region of Crimea.

Photo: Reuters