Lviv, Ukraine, Mar 30 (EFE).- The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has said that Russian troops are regrouping to focus their efforts towards the east of the country, and that the so-called “withdrawal of troops” could be a rotation of certain units, as per a report issued early on Wednesday, the 35th day of the invasion.
According to the report, quoted by Ukrainian agency Ukrinform, “the separate units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue to withdraw from Kyiv Region and Chernihiv Region. There are certain signs that Russian troops are regrouping to focus efforts on the Eastern direction.”
However, the General Staff insisted that the apparent withdrawal of troops could simply be a rotation aimed at deceiving the Ukrainian military leadership and creating a false perception of Moscow refusing to encircle Kyiv.
After a bilateral meeting held in Istanbul on Tuesday, the Russian side announced that its troops would reduce their military pressure against Ukrainian cities, specifically agreeing to drastically reduce their assault on the Ukrainian capital and the besieged southern city of Chernihiv.
“In order to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for continuing negotiations and achieving the goal of reaching consensus and signing an agreement, the Russian defense ministry decided to significantly reduce military activity around Kyiv and Chernigov (Chernihiv),” Russian deputy defense minister Alexander Fomin said.
He said Russia had agreed to take the step considering that negotiations over the “neutrality and non-nuclear status” of Ukraine and Kyiv offering “security guarantees,” had entered a practical phase.
According to the Ukrainian military’s report, Russian troops intend to “hold the captured frontiers,” but are not carrying out offensive actions.
For example, in Sloviansk, a city situated in the contested Donetsk region, Russian troops were “regrouping and replenishing stocks,” as per the report.
However, near Novokarlivka and Luhivske, north of Mariupol, “the enemy continues to place fortification equipment within the captured positions and create mine barriers,” while in the Zaporizhzhia region and the operational areas of Black Sea and Azov, strikes continued without “significant changes” in the status quo. EFE