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Russia says it will shrink near Kyiv as negotiations proceed – Daily Local

By NEBIQENA and YURASKARMANAU

Kyiv, Ukraine (AP) —Russia announced on Tuesday that it would “basically” reduce military operations near the capital of Ukraine and cities in the north.

Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said the changes on the battlefield were intended to increase confidence in the talks after several negotiations could not stop what went into a bloody exhaustion campaign. rice field.

This announcement expressed skepticism from the United States and others.

Moscow described it as a well-meaning gesture, but its ground forces got stuck and suffered great losses in their bids to occupy Kyiv and other cities. Last week and Tuesday, the Kremlin seemed to lower its war goal, saying that his “main goal” was to gain control of the now mostly Russian-speaking Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had seen nothing to show that negotiations were proceeding in a “constructive way”, and signs of Russia’s withdrawal were that Moscow “deceived people and cautioned.” He suggested that it could be an attempt to “distract”.

“What Russia says and what Russia does, and we are focusing on the latter,” Blinken said in Morocco. “And what Russia is doing is Ukraine’s continued atrocities.”

He added, “If they somehow believe that efforts to conquer only the eastern part of Ukraine or the southern part of Ukraine could be successful, then again they are terribly deceived.”

Western officials say Moscow is strengthening its troops in Donbus to surround Ukraine’s most well-trained and most equipped troops, which are concentrated in the east.

Even when negotiators from both countries gathered in Istanbul, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s army struck an oil depot in western Ukraine late Monday, and on Tuesday morning a nine-story building in the southern port city of Mykolaiv. Blowed up a big hole in the government building. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the attack killed at least seven people.

“That’s terrible. Before attacking the building, they were waiting for people to go to work,” said Governor Vitaliy Kim. “I overslept. I’m lucky.”

Mr Fomin said Moscow “basically … reduces military activity in the direction of Kyiv and Chernihiv” and “increases mutual trust and creates conditions for further negotiations.” He didn’t immediately explain what that meant in a practical sense.

Ukrainian troops said they focused on the withdrawal of some troops around Kyiv and Chernihiv. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told CNN that “I haven’t seen anything to support” reports that Russia has withdrawn important forces from around Kyiv. “But what we’ve seen in the last few days is that they have stopped trying to move forward in Kyiv.”

Rob Li, a military expert at the US-based Foreign Policy Institute, tweeted: Russia has no power to surround the city. “

The meeting in Istanbul was the first face-to-face discussion between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in two weeks. Previous talks in Belarus, either directly or on video, killed thousands and ousted more than 10 million Ukrainians from their homes, including about 4 million who fled the country for more than a month. No progress was made towards ending.

The Ukrainian delegation details the peace agreement that the country remains neutral, but its security is guaranteed by similar arrangements by groups of third countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Turkey, China and Poland. The framework has been set up NATO’s “Attack on one is an attack on all” principle.

Ukraine also said it was ready to hold talks over a 15-year period on the future of the Crimean Peninsula, which was seized by Russia in 2014.

The Kremlin, in particular, demanded that Ukraine abandon its hope of joining NATO.

Vladimir Medinsky, head of the Russian delegation, said on Russian television that Ukraine’s proposal was “a step to meet us on the way and is clearly a positive fact.” He warned that the parties were still far from reaching an agreement, but said: It’s not just about marking the time of discussion. “

Similarly, Mr. Fomin said, “Negotiations on the preparation of an agreement on Ukraine’s neutral and non-nuclear states and the provision of security in Ukraine are directed to practical issues,” suggesting progress. ..

Other developments:

— In what appeared to be a collaborative effort to tackle Russian espionage, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Ireland and North Macedonia have expelled a number of Russian diplomats.

— The head of the United Nations Nuclear Monitoring Agency has arrived in Ukraine to ensure the safety of Ukrainian nuclear facilities. Russian troops dominated the decommissioning of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which suffered the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986, and the operating power plant of the Zaporizhya nuclear power plant, whose buildings were damaged in battle.

— According to Ukrainian troops, Russia destroyed more than 60 religious buildings throughout the country in a little over a month of war, with most of the damage concentrated in the suburbs and eastern part of Kyiv.

— In the room of the Istanbul Parley was Roman Abramovich, Putin’s longtime ally, who has been licensed by the United Kingdom and the European Union. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the owner of the Chelsea football team is an unofficial mediator approved in both countries. However, the mystery about his role was deepened by news reports that he may have been poisoned during a previous series of talks.

Over the past few days, Ukrainian troops have launched counterattacks in the suburbs of Kyiv and other parts of the country, landfilling the ground. They have regained Irpin, an important suburb northwest of the capital, Zelensky said on Monday. But he warned that Russian troops were reorganizing to regain the area.

Ukrainian soldiers gathered in trenches to take pictures with Colonel Oleksandr Syrski, who said Ukraine controls most of Irpin’s.

“We have such a high morale that we will protect our country,” said Silsky, the supreme military commander in charge of the defense of Kyiv. “And we want to win.”

Ukrainian troops also seized Trostyanets’ southeast of Sumy after a few weeks of Russian occupation, which left a devastated landscape.

The Associated Press, arriving in town on Monday shortly thereafter, saw the bodies of two Russian soldiers in the woods, and Russian tanks were burned and twisted. A red “Z” indicates a Russian truck whose windshield was broken near a box of ammunition. Ukrainian troops on the tank showed signs of victory. In the scorched building, rushed residents lined up for help.

Putin’s ground forces have been hampered by Russia’s tactical failure, low morale, lack of food, fuel, cold-weather equipment, and other problems, as well as stronger Ukrainian resistance than expected.

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reinforces what the military said last week, saying that “liberation of Donbus” is now Moscow’s main purpose.

It shows the possibility of an exit strategy to save Putin’s face, but it also raised the fear of Ukraine aiming to force the Kremlin to divide the country and abandon its territorial belt.

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Karmanau reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Associated Press journalists around the world have contributed to this report.

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Follow the Associated Press war reports at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Russia says it will shrink near Kyiv as negotiations proceed – Daily Local

Source link Russia says it will shrink near Kyiv as negotiations proceed – Daily Local

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