Russia beginning to withdraw some forces from around Kyiv

Russia beginning to withdraw some forces from around Kyiv

The US is seeing Russia beginning to withdraw some of its forces from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, in what it believes is a change in Russian strategy in Ukraine, senior US military officials said.

The US is already observing a major strategy shift after Russia’s defence ministry announced earlier today that it would “drastically reduce” military activity outside Kyiv and Chernihiv, according to two senior US officials.

Russia is beginning to withdraw some forces, including Russian Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs) leaving the surrounding areas around the Ukrainian capital, CNN cited the officials as saying.

The Russian forces now pulling back in some areas of the north to focus on gains in the south and east. The officials warned that Russia could always reverse their latest move.

From CNN’s Jim Sciutto:

Large numbers of military vehicles with Russian flags were reportedly seen retreating from the Kyiv direction.

However, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said he has not seen “signs of real seriousness” from Russia in pursuing peace, adding that Moscow should “end the aggression now, stop firing, pull its forces back and of course engage in talks”.

Speaking today at a joint press conference with Morocco’s foreign minister, Nasser Bourita, Blinken said he has not seen signs the talks between Ukraine and Russia are “moving forward in an effective way”.

There is what Russia says, and there is what Russia does. We’re focused on the latter.

Ukraine’s military said it had noted withdrawals of some forces around Kyiv and Chernihiv.

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