BACKING OFF

Putin Cancels Ukraine Invasion Threat

Russian news agencies report that President Vladimir Putin is canceling his request for parliament’s approval to use force in Ukraine. Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, said the premier made a request on March 1 for military intervention in Ukraine, but he withdrew it in a letter to the upper house of parliament. In March, Russia annexed Crimea, which Putin later admitted was with the help of Russian troops. His withdrawal announcement comes after pro-Russian separatists said they would respect a ceasefire declared by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko last week.