Lviv/Kyiv, Mar 30 (EFE).- Ukrainian authorities said Wednesday that it is too early to verify whether Russia’s claims that it was reducing its military activity around Kyiv and Chernihiv and redeploying resources to the eastern Donbas region are true.
Russia’s defense ministry made the announcement on Tuesday “to build trust” as a new round of peace talks was being held in Istanbul.
Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, the spokesman for the Ukrainian ministry of defense, told Efe that there has been a “partial withdrawal” of Russian troops around Ukraine’s capital, adding they “cannot speak of a large-scale withdrawal yet.”
Motuzyanyk said Russian units were withdrawing eastward toward the breakaway separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, confirming Russia’s recent declarations that they had already completed the “first phase of the operation”.
Earlier on Wednesday, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that rather than a “withdrawal”, the movement of Russian troops could be more of a rotation of resources intended to deceive the Ukrainian military leadership while peace negotiations are ongoing.
The United States said that Russia’s claims should be viewed with caution and warned that Moscow had no intention of ending the conflict.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was on a visit to Morocco on Tuesday, said Moscow could be trying to “deceive people and deflect attention”.
“There is what Russia says and there is what Russia does, and we’re focused on the latter,” Blinken said. “And what Russia is doing is the continued brutalization of Ukraine.” EFE