Russia to ‘fundamentally cut back’ military activity near Kyiv and Chernihiv

Russia will drastically cut its military activity focused near Kyiv and also around Chernihiv, the Russian deputy defence minister said.

Alexander Fomin added that the country has decided to “fundamentally cut back” operations near the capital and another major city to “increase mutual trust” at talks aimed at ending the fighting.

The announcement came as Ukrainian and Russian delegations met in Istanbul in Turkey for peace talks.

It appears to be the first major concession the Russians have made since the beginning of their invasion in Ukraine more than a month ago.

The Ukrainian general staff of the military said earlier it had taken note of withdrawals around Kyiv and Chernihiv.

Recently, Russia said that it would refocus its efforts on the Donbas region, as the head of the General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate said the “main objectives” of its first stage had been accomplished.

However, a senior US defence official said the move could be used to build leverage in negotiations to cut off Ukrainian forces in the rest of the country.

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