Russia pledges to scale down military activity near Kyiv

Following the announcement earlier on Tuesday that Russia would cut back on its military actions around Kyiv and Chernihiv, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said that the US believed some Russian troops had already left.

“Has there been some movement by some Russian units away from Kyiv in the last day or so?  Yes, we think so.  Small numbers,” Kirby told reporters.

“But we believe that this is a repositioning, not a real withdrawal and that we all should be prepared to watch for a major offensive against other areas of Ukraine.  It does not mean that the threat to Kyiv is over,” he added.

US President Joe Biden said he wasn’t convinced that Russia’s promise to cut back military operations around Kyiv would lead to a significant change in the conflict.  “We’ll see if they follow through,” he told reporters after holding a phone call with the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, and Italy.  “There seems to be a consensus that let’s just see what they have to offer.” Russian negotiators pledged to scale back hostilities near Kyiv and the city of Chernihiv during talks with Ukraine in Turkey on Tuesday.