Russia shells areas in Ukraine where it vowed to scale back, including capital Kyiv

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A woman rides a bicycle past a burned bus after fighting on the outskirts of Mariupol, Ukraine, in territory under control of the separatist government of the Donetsk People’s Republic, on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.

Highlights

  • Russian forces pounded areas around Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.
  • Russia had said that it will slowly roll back from Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and city Chernihiv.
  • Ukrainian officials said Russian shelling hit homes, shops, libraries and other civilian infra.

Just hours after Moscow pledged to scale back military operations in those places, Russian forces pounded areas around Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and another city overnight, regional leaders said Wednesday. The shelling further tempered optimism about any progress in talks aimed at ending the punishing war.

Russia had said that it will slowly roll back from Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and city Chernihiv after the latest round of talks between the two countries in Istanbul, Turkey. Russia did not spell out what exactly it planned to do differently, and while the promise initially raised hopes that a path toward peace was coming into view, Ukraine’s president and others cautioned that the remarks could merely be bluster.

Ukrainian officials said Russian shelling hit homes, shops, libraries and other “civilian infrastructure” in the northern city of Chernihiv and on the outskirts of the capital, Kyiv.

The barrages came as Britain’s Defense Ministry warned that while heavy losses have forced some Russian units to return to Belarus and Russia, Moscow would likely compensate for any reduction in ground maneuvers by using mass artillery and missile strikes.

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The Ukrainian military, meanwhile, said Russian troops were intensifying their attacks around the eastern city of Izyum and the eastern Donetsk region, after redeploying some units from other areas.

Moscow, meanwhile, reacted coolly to Kyiv’s proposed framework for a peace deal, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying it was a “positive factor” that Ukraine has submitted its written proposals but that he saw no breakthrough.

The United Nations said the number of refugees fleeing the country has now surpassed a staggering 4 million, while European industrial powerhouse Germany issued a warning over its natural gas supplies amid concerns that Russia could cut off deliveries unless it is paid in rubles.

Poland announced steps to end all Russian oil imports by the end of 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reacted with skepticism to Russia’s announcement amid talks in Istanbul on Tuesday that it would reduce military activity near the capital and 

Also Read: Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov on two-day visit to India amid Ukraine crisis

Also Read: Belgium, Netherlands, others expel 43 Russian diplomats

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