Ukrainian officials are closely monitoring Russian moves, following promises to scale back attacks on the capital, Kyiv.
They say this commitment is a smokescreen – empty words that allow Moscow to prepare a new strategy.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said: “There is also news of an alleged withdrawal of Russian forces from kyiv and Chernihiv and a decrease in the activity of the occupiers in these directions. We know that this is not a withdrawal, but an expulsion, the consequences of our defenders “work.”
Ukraine says Russian troops have not stopped their assaults on cities. The withdrawal was proposed during Tuesday’s peace talks which are expected to continue on Friday.
Zelenskyy says Ukrainians will not be fooled by “flowery words”.
Defense officials say they will focus on the eastern Donbass region for what Russia calls its “liberation”.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Kponashenkov said: “High-precision air-launched missiles destroyed large fuel depots. The depots supplied Ukrainian armored vehicles in the Donbas region.”
US defense officials are monitoring the movements from Washington.
They say that less than 20% of the tactical groups near kyiv have moved, but are not heading to Russia.
US Department of Defense press secretary John Kirby said, “If the Russians are serious about de-escalation — because it’s their demand here — then they should send them home. But they don’t. At least not yet.
Ukrainian negotiators want a ceasefire, but they don’t want to cede any territory. They say their nation’s sovereignty is not on the table.
Civilian casualties are increasing day by day. According to the Ukrainian authorities, 145 children were killed and 222 injured.
The UN human rights chief says credible reports show Russian forces have used cluster munitions in populated areas at least 24 times.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said: “Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited by international humanitarian law and can constitute war crimes.
An international human rights group says Russian forces used landmines in the eastern city of Kharkiv.
A treaty banning these weapons entered into force in 1999. More than 160 countries, including Ukraine, are signatories. Russia is not.