Russia’s forces continued to withdraw near Kiev and Chernihiv, according to the Ukrainian military, but this was only a “unit rotation operation.”
In an intelligence update on March 29, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said, “There are some signs that Russia is regrouping its units to focus on the main operation in the east.”
“The withdrawal operation could be a rotation of individual units to deceive Ukrainian military leadership and create the false impression that the enemy has abandoned the plan to encircle the city of Kiev,” according to the report. paragraph
The military report from Ukraine has elicited no response from Russia.
After the latest round of negotiations between the two sides revealed the outline of a possible agreement to be terminated, Russia announced that it would significantly reduce the size of its military operations near Kiev and Chernihiv in northern Ukraine. The Russia-Ukraine talks are set to resume today.
Russia has begun withdrawing some units near the capital Kiev, including battalion-level tactical groups, according to senior US military officials, while concentrating forces only in southern and eastern Ukraine. Officials from the United States have warned that Russia could reverse its decision at any time.
The fighting in southern Ukraine is still going on. On March 29, Russian forces are accused of ambushing a government building in Mykolaiv, killing seven people and injuring twenty more. Mariupol has opened an evacuation corridor for civilians to leave the southeastern Ukrainian city in private vehicles.
Russia launched a special military operation on February 24 to “demilitarise and de-fascistize Ukraine.” According to the United Nations, more than 3.9 million people have been evacuated from Ukraine after nearly five weeks of hostilities, with thousands killed and wounded. On March 29, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced that Russia had completed the majority of the first phase of the military operation and would now focus on Ukraine’s eastern and southern regions. Shoigu also warned that if NATO provides Ukraine with aircraft and air defence systems, Russia will respond appropriately.