Карта боевых действий на Украине от 29 марта. 9111.ru

Карта боевых действий на Украине от 29 марта. 9111.ru

Reuters:  Russia promised Tuesday to scale down military operations around two Ukrainian cities, including the capital city of Kyiv, but U.S. officials remain skeptical.

The comments came from members of a Russian delegation engaged in peace talks with their Ukrainian counterparts in Istanbul.

But U.S. President Joe Biden was wary of Russia’s vow to curtail military action in some areas.

“We’ll see. I don’t read anything into it until I see what their actions are.”

In a late-night television address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he too was cautious about Russia's promise.

"Yes, we can call the signals we hear from the negotiating platform positive. But these signals do not drown out the blows of Russian shells. Of course, we see all the risks. Of course, we see no reason to trust the words of certain representatives of a state that continues to fight for our destruction. Ukrainians are not naive people. "

Some military experts also noted that Russia's promise to reduce fighting mostly concerned areas where it has been losing ground.

“It does not mean the threat to Kyiv is over.”

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters Tuesday that Russia is simply rethinking its strategy.

“So we ought not be fooling, and nobody should be fooling ourselves by the Kremlin’s now recent claim that it will suddenly just reduce military attacks near Kyiv, or any reports that it’s gonna withdraw all its forces. Has there been some movement by Russian units away from Kyiv in the last day or so? Yeah, we think so, small numbers. But we believe that this is repositioning, not a real withdrawal.”

The Russian delegates made no mention of areas which have seen heavy fighting, including Ukraine's besieged seaport Mariupol, where the head of the UN human rights mission there says thousands of civilians may have died.

Russia denies targeting civilians, and calls its assault a "special operation" to disarm and "denazify" Ukraine. The West maintains that it's an unprovoked invasion.

In a coordinated move on Tuesday, several European Union countries expelled dozens of Russian diplomats, some for alleged spying. Russia vowed retaliation.

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