Putin steps back from the Ukrainian brink

After weeks building up forces in Crimea and close to the Ukrainian border — over 100,000, all told — Moscow is now saying it plans to pull most of them back to barracks. Is this a climb-down, mission accomplished, or mind games? Of course, we’ll have to see what actually happens. We’ve seen footage of tanks being loaded back onto railway cars and soldiers taking down tents, but until we have independent verification of substantial movements, we need to be cautious. After all, in 2008, Russian troops deployed to the Caucasus for major military exercises were just packing up when they were promptly ordered back to launch their five-day invasion