Peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia were held in Turkey yesterday where both Kyiv and Moscow appeared to have compromised on the previous red lines. Ukraine has even proposed new security guarantees that could see the ex-Soviet state accept neutral status, provided the Kremlin agrees to withdraw Russian troops.
Moscow Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin even said Russia would “radically, several times reduce military activity” around Kyiv and Chernihiv.
His Ukrainian counterpart Oleksandr Chaly told reporters that the neutrality offer was an opportunity to “restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and security through diplomatic and political means”.
It is believed this would allow Ukraine to join the European Union but prevent its ascension to NATO.
Speaking in a recent video after Istanbul peace talks hinted at possible progress in negotiations, Zelensky appeared to be ipadnewsing concern about Russia’s bid.
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According to the BBC, he said: “Ukrainians are not naive people.
“We can say that the signal… is positive, but it didn’t sink the Russian explosion or shell.”
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby also confirmed Washington was starting to see troops moving away from the Ukrainian capital.
He said: “We are only seeing a small number starting to move away from Kyiv.”
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Kirby later added people should be “prepared to oversee a massive attack on other parts of Ukraine”.
In an update on Ukraine, the British Ministry of Defense (MOD) said: “Repeated Russian retreat and successful counter-attacks by Ukrainian forces mean it is almost certain that the Russian offensive has failed in its objective of encircling Kyiv.
“Russia’s statements about reducing activity around Kyiv, and reporting indicating the withdrawal of some Russian units from the region, may indicate Russia’s acceptance that they have now lost their initiative in the region.
“It is very likely that the Russians will try to divert fighting forces from the north to their offensive in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east.”
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The MOD update later added: “Russian units that suffered heavy losses have been forced to return to Belarus and Russia to reorganize and resupply.
“Such activity puts further pressure on Russia’s already strained logistics and demonstrates the difficulties Russia is facing in rearranging its units in the front area in Ukraine.
“Russia will likely continue to compensate for its reduced ground maneuverability through mass artillery and missile strikes.
“Russia’s stated focus on the attacks in Donetsk and Luhansk is likely a tacit admission that it is struggling to maintain more than one significant axis of progress.”