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Putin angers Russia with invasion of Ukraine: ‘We are very depressed’ | World | News

Russia has promised to withdraw troops from certain areas of Ukraine, but many are skeptical about whether the Kremlin is honest. The Ukrainian military believes the withdrawal “may constitute a rotation of individual units” aimed at misleading the Ukrainian military leadership and creating “misunderstandings” about the meaning of their deployment. The update echoes statements made by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, who said the threat to Kyiv persists, even as Russian troops move away from the city. Mr Kirby said: “We are seeing a small number now that appear to be moving away from Kyiv.

“This [is] on the same day that Russia said they were withdrawing, but we are not prepared to call this a retreat, or even a retreat.

“What they might be thinking about is repositioning to prioritize elsewhere.

“This is certainly not a significant part of the multiple battalion tactical groups that Russia has drawn up against Kyiv.

“That’s nowhere near the majority of what they’ve compiled.”

The invasion has seen major Ukrainian cities blown up by Russian attacks while millions have fled to neighboring countries.

Russia is also feeling the consequences after the West hit the country with sanctions.

In February, The Guardian spoke to Russia in Moscow about what happened at the start of the invasion.

Many Russians rush to cashpoints to take their savings.

Alexei Presnyakov, 32, said: “They said they had dollars, so I came here right away. Yesterday [the rate] is 80 [to the dollar]. Today 100. Or 150.

“I just made a spontaneous decision today that I’m going to ask about [out of work] and walk around until I get all my money out before it’s zero.”

A business owner sums up the uncertainty of life in Russia while President Vladimir Putin is waging war against a sovereign nation.

They said: “We don’t know what he’s going to do next.

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“No one in the business community has a clue anymore. Everyone is very depressed. I’ve been through so many economic crises here, the pandemic is the latest one.

“But there is always a reason to keep fighting for your business.

“Now, I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore. Even if peace is achieved, the damage will still be done. How do we turn it around?”

It’s not just ordinary Russians who are saddened by the war, even some of the country’s most influential and wealthy people are calling for Putin to end the conflict.

Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire entrepreneur, had called for peace “as soon as possible” on Telegram at the time.

Another oligarch, Mikhail Fridman, broke with the Kremlin and called for an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Mr Fridman said: “My parents are Ukrainian citizens and live in Lviv, my favorite city. But I have also spent most of my life as a Russian citizen, building and developing businesses.

“I am deeply attached to the people of Ukraine and Russia and see the current conflict as a tragedy for both of them.

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“This crisis will claim lives and damage two countries that have been brothers for hundreds of years. While a solution seems very far away, I can only join those who have a strong desire to end the bloodshed.”

Reports of peace talks will be encouraging for people in Ukraine and Russia, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that Putin should be judged “by his actions and not by his words”.

Johnson’s spokesman said yesterday: “We will judge Putin and his regime by their actions and not by their words.

“We don’t want to see anything other than a complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.”

He also warned at the weekly meeting of senior ministers at Number 10 that, while Russia’s campaign continues to fail, Putin could inflict further damage in an attempt to “twist the knife”.

Johnson’s comments came after Russia said it intended to “drastically reduce hostilities” around the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions and that it wanted to “de-escalate” the conflict in Ukraine.