Russia To Curb Assault On Kyiv Amid Peace Talks

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Russia To Curb Assault On Kyiv Amid Peace Talks

Russia has announced it will “drastically reduce” military combat operations in two key areas of Ukraine “to boost mutual trust” in peace talks.

The decision to scale back operations around the capital, Kyiv, and the northern city of Chernihiv is the first sign of tangible progress in talks since Russia invaded on February 24th.

But the US has reacted with skepticism.

Russia had already refocused its military campaign on “liberating” Ukraine’s eastern regions.

It has suffered a series of setbacks to the north-west of the capital, Kyiv, and is also seeking to capture a land corridor along the south coast, from Crimea, which it annexed in 2014, to the Russian border.

Officials in Washington said they had already seen the Russians draw away from Kyiv, but they were still pounding the capital with air strikes and the US had little confidence that it marked any significant shift or meaningful retreat.

During the talks in the Turkish city of Istanbul, Ukraine proposed to become a neutral state in exchange for security guarantees. A key aim of Russia’s invasion was to stop Ukraine joining the NATO alliance and Russian officials said the talks had moved to a practical stage.