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Russia announces reduction in military activities near Kyiv

The region around the Ukrainian capital Kyiv has been fiercely contested for more than a month. The Russian Defense Ministry has now announced that it will restrict military activities.

Russia wants to significantly reduce its “military activities” in Ukraine near Kyiv and Chernihiv. This was decided in view of the course of the negotiations with Ukraine, said Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin on Tuesday after the talks in Istanbul. Delegations from Moscow and Kyiv met there for peace negotiations.

Russia began its war of aggression in Ukraine a month ago. It was the first announcement of a withdrawal of this kind from the Russian side. A few days ago, the Ministry of Defense announced that it wanted to focus on the Donbass in eastern Ukraine.

Withdrawal of individual units observed

The move should serve to build mutual trust and create the conditions for further negotiations, Fomin said. Ukraine is in the process of preparing a treaty on a neutral status of the country without nuclear weapons. Russia assumes that Ukraine will make appropriate decisions on this. Detailed information about the Istanbul agreements should be available after the delegation’s return to Moscow.

Meanwhile, the Russian medium Kommersant reports on Fomin’s further demands: “We demand the complete banning of the practice of torture among our prisoners of war. We call on the Ukrainian side to take comprehensive measures to eliminate this practice.” In this context, Fomin also called on Ukraine to comply with the Geneva Convention when treating prisoners of war.

Individual units are already deducted

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian general staff announced that the withdrawal of individual units of the Russian armed forces was being observed in the area around the capital Kyiv and the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv.

According to local authorities, more than 350 people have already died in Russian attacks on Chernihiv. However, the figures are only preliminary, Mayor Wladylsaw Atroschenko said on Tuesday, according to the Ukrainian agency Unian. According to estimates, up to 400 people may have died. Around 400 people were injured in the city’s hospitals.

So far, negotiations on an end to the war of aggression have been difficult, and positions differ widely: the Ukrainian government wants Russian troops to withdraw and security guarantees. Among other things, Moscow is demanding that Ukraine renounce NATO membership and recognize the breakaway eastern Ukrainian separatist areas as separate states and the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, annexed in 2014, as part of Russia.

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