Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a partial withdrawal of troops from the border with Ukraine.

According to German sources, Russian president informed about this decision in a telephonic conversation with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Thousands of Russian soldiers are still said to be deployed along the border.

Earlier, Ukraine condemned a visit to Crimea by Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and a delegation of government ministers.

A foreign ministry spokesman in Kiev said the highest-level trip to the Black Sea peninsula by officials from Moscow was a sheer violation of international rules.

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