Ukraine war LIVE: Humiliated Russian troops retreat from Kyiv – but locals issued warning

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The Russian retreat came three days after Moscow announced it would be reducing its operations around the Ukrainian capital, claiming it was aiming to foster trust between the two countries to help achieve a peace deal.

However, the UK and other allies have warned that pulling back from Kyiv was merely an acknowledgement of defeat regarding Putin’s initial plan to seize the capital in a lightning strike, and does not indicate a reduction in Russian aggression.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the move was more of a tactical withdrawal than a retreat, saying in an online video: “For the Russian military, this is part of their tactics.

“We know that they are moving away from the area where we are beating them to focus on others…we still have a very difficult path to cover to get everything we strive for.”

The US is describing the movement of Russian troops as a “repositioning” rather than a permanent withdrawal, with the Pentagon claiming that the troops are heading north towards Belarus.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said: “Our assessment would be that they’re going to refit these troops, resupply them and then probably employ them elsewhere in Ukraine.”

Around 20 percent of the Russian troops have begun retreating from the areas around Kyiv, including those who were as close as 10 miles from the centre. The city continues to be the target of airstrikes and long-range artillery.

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