Russia’s military announced Tuesday that it would “drastically” reduce operations near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv as talks between the warring sides in Istanbul made progress towards a peace deal.
Speaking to reporters following the talks, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said that “a decision was made to drastically … reduce the military activity on the approaches to Kyiv and Chernihiv.” He said Russia expects “relevant key decisions will be taken in Kyiv and the conditions for further normal work will be created.”
Vladimir Medinsky, Russia’s head negotiator, described the Istanbul talks as “constructive” and said the Ukrainians delivered an outline for a peace proposal that will be relayed to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Under the potential deal, Ukraine would vow not to join NATO or any other military alliance and vow not to host foreign military bases or develop nuclear weapons.
In exchange, Ukraine wants Russia not to block its EU bid and wants security guarantees similar to NATO’s Article 5, the mutual defense clause of the military alliance that outlines “an attack on one is an attack on all.” Ukraine wants guarantees from Russia, the US, the UK, China, Turkey, France, Canada, Italy, Poland, and Israel.
It’s not clear if all countries would agree to what is essentially a mutual defense treaty with Ukraine. David Arakhamia, the head of Ukraine’s negotiating team, said some of the countries have already given their preliminary agreement to be a guarantor.
Russia wants Ukraine to recognize Crimea as Russian territory, but the Ukrainians offered to resolve the issue over 15-year talks. In the meantime, Ukraine said it would agree not to use force to resolve the status of Crimea. Russia also wants Ukraine to recognize the independence of the two breakaway republics in the Donbas. But the Donbas issue wasn’t addressed in Ukraine’s proposal and could potentially be discussed in a future meeting between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Medinsky said Russia would be willing to hold a Putin-Zelensky meeting at the same time as the two country’s foreign ministers meet to work out a peace deal. Russia’s previous position was that a Putin-Zelensky meeting would only be necessary after an agreement was finalized.
The next step for the talks is for Russia to deliver a response to Ukraine’s proposal. In the meantime, US officials told CNN that Russia has started withdrawing forces from areas near Kyiv and Chernihiv, but fighting continues in the east. On Friday, Russia announced that the “first stage” of the invasion was over and that it was now focusing on “liberating” the Donbas.
The US doesn’t appear to be involved in the peace talks as Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed skepticism over Russia’s offers of de-escalation. Since the invasion started on February 24, the Biden administration has not tried high-level diplomacy with Russia to end the fighting. Instead, the US has been working to flood Ukraine with weapons and destroy Russia’s economy through sanctions.
40 thoughts on “Russia Says It Will ‘Drastically’ Reduce Military Activity Near Kyiv and Chernihiv as Talks Progress”
If those will be the final results or close to the final results these seem to have been reachable before the Russian attack on Ukraine.
The proposal is unworkable, and everyone knows it. Zelenski wants a big stage to talk to Putin. I cannot see that for a while. Biden just does not know when to be quiet, and is commenting on the negotiation points.
There is a line being repeated AD NAUSEUM that Russia after completing phase 1 woukd cincentrate on Donbas.
Did NOT say that. It still has unfinished operations in Donbas, and it did not say what the next phase is — but it definitely will not stop operatikns and stay in Donbas.
The proposal is a non starter, for as long as NATO ciuntriex have an Article 5 powers over Ukraine,
They are also joking about 15 year process for Crimea, and actualy think that Russia will wver give Maruipol back, as it was part of Donetsk. And give Kherson back? This is a part of Crimean penninsula that stayed with Ukraine.
The only REAL questiins are:
Will Russia surround Odessa?
Will Russia expand to Dnipro?
Will Russia close the West-East corriidor from Odessa to Belaruss border?
If no agreement is reached on denazifying Kyiv government, especially military and security apparatus, West Ukraine may have to be separated from the East,
The dilkema ALWAYS was same. Minority Catholics from the West Ukraine did not want to be overruled by the East, Christian Orthodox majority.
But the reverse, since 2014, majority was rulled by the minority, and the abuses were spectacular. How to make them luve together again, especially since West was always more comfortable with Poland, and East with Russia.
They need to separate. West under Poland NATO in Lvov, East under Russia in Kyev.
If problem is not solved, it will be again the same.
Mariupol mayor inly yesterday said that defence is holding. Today, we know he has not been in a city for a while. And conceded that Russia controls the city. Azov commanders nay be still hiding there.
Agreed. Except that Russia has never suggested partitioning east from west. That is entirely a speculation of the “armchair strategists” based on the unproven notion that it matters that western Ukrainians hate Russians. Russia doesn’t care about that. Russia only cares that western Ukrainians can’t turn the government of Ukraine into a neo-Nazi organization. And that Russia can prevent with the proper moves.
The Ukraine offer is risible. Once it’s reported to Putin, and Putin, Shoigu and Lavrov stop laughing, Russia will tell Ukraine to pound sand, while the operation continues. There is no chance Russia will accept the notion of a “pseudo-NATO security guarantees regime”, not matter what other Ukraine “concessions” are offered.
This is again just an attempt to stall the “negotiations”, read, “surrender terms”. Russia will go along because it is accomplishing its goals on the ground. The only reason for the curtailment of offensive operations around Kiev is 1) there is no intention to take Kiev at this time, and 2) after 30 days in the field, the Russian operation probably needs a “rest and reorganization” of its forces in preparation for the push to finish the Donbass cauldron.
Also, rumor has it that there are not even more Russian armored forces on the border with Ukraine than there was on February 24th. This is exactly what I would expect given the likelihood that after Donbass is sorted out, and all the forces there are reassigned, Russia will begin a full push across the rest of Ukraine.
I suspect it’s just a matter of time before Ukraine’s military forces in Mariupol surrender. I also suspect that it’s finally dawning on Zelensky’s handlers that the cavalry isn’t coming. But Ukraine is still trying to play the card that an attack on Ukraine is an attack on all of Western Civilization. That might be OK if Ukraine also agrees that Crimea and Donbass are no longer part of Ukraine.
Despite the contempt for the ethnic Russians living in Crimea and Donbas inherent in the Euromaidan coup, Ukraine wants control of Crimea and Donbas. This conflict is about who controls the natural gas, oil, and wheat produced in those areas. Thus, Ukraine’s strategy, from my perspective, has been to call it civil war when they attack, then hide behind NATO’s apron if Russia responds. Russia saw through that ruse.
It might yet be possible, if Ukraine is allowed to make their own decisions, for real and lasting peace. But I’m not placing any bets on anything yet.
https://youtu.be/dWaNtAentO4 near the end of the video soldiers talk about what is happening in Mariupol.
They did. City Mayor is no longer in the city and he declared that Matiulol is under Russian comtrol.
He clearly got out as a refugee.
Ukraine sentvtwo helicopters to get Azov commanders out — but both were shut over Azov sea. There are cells now hiding in the city.
To quote the great Jello Biafra, Nazi Punks F**k Off.
I have to fully agree with your angle …. well, because you nailed it !!!!! 🙂
You are a deep thinker ….. thought you might relate to this …..
Good article but I tend to disagree. The way Russians executed maneuver warfare was not adequate. Then you add the thousands of loses they had between equipment and soldiers, they achieved zero Maneuver Warfare. The damage is done, soldiers moral is low, many issues with logistical supply lines, Command and Control doesn’t exist, ability to project forces gone, depleted arsenal reserves, economy is hurt, and soon the government infighting exacerbated by protests from families that have lost love ones. They threw their absolute best a their Ukraine problem and it has been incompetent at best. They’ll have to reconfigure their forces with very few options that will create gaps in other areas.
At this time of year, Ukraine doesn’t look like much of a maneuver warfare theater. Tanks, trucks, and heavy artillery need either hard-frozen ground or dry ground for that. Otherwise, they’re mostly stuck to roads.
And the age of the tank as such seems to be over. Man-portable anti-tank weapons have become effective enough that “infantry supported by tank” attacks, especially in an urban environment, aren’t going to do well. That means infantry movements have to rely on longer-range artillery and/or close air support.
But you omitted the primary, the most crucial, stage: identify all high value targets and completely destroy them with artillery, missiles, and bombs. Then go in with personnel carriers and bulldozers to bury the dead and clear the ground for a fortified camp the size of Texas.
Americans have seen this programme so many time in the last 30 years that the contrast here is remarkable; and they’re at a loss to understand. But its meaning clear – the Russians are trying to spare civilians and enable negotiated peace.
“But its meaning clear – the Russians are trying to spare civilians and enable negotiated peace.”
That’s one possible meaning.
Another is that they tried the primary, most crucial stage and failed miserably.
And a third is that they’re actually doing that in their real area of interest (LPR/DPR/land corridor to Crimea) and that the operations west of there are strategic feints that aren’t worth wasting a lot of artillery, missiles, and bombs on.
“Another is that they tried the primary, most crucial stage and failed miserably.”
I don’t understand this. Had they “tried”, Kiev, Karkhiv, Mariupol, etc. would first have been leafletted then reduced to rubble, along with all the political, economic, technical, and military infrastructure, … every bridge, communications tower, airstrip, …. Except for the single missile strike on the military base in the west, we’ve heard nothing of strategic bombing?? For those of us accustomed to the Amerikan way of war, this is otherwise a mystery.
You’re making assumptions about their capabilities.
Perhaps those assumptions are warranted. Or perhaps not.
Do you believe the Russian war machine is hollow? … tech thin?
I try to be careful to not make assumptions about the capabilities of the Russian war machine.
From the start, I’ve considered it likely — not certain, just likely — that the operations around Kyiv are a strategic feint to fix Ukrainian forces in place that might otherwise be used to contest Russian operations in the LPR/DPR/corridor to Crimea theater, and that real Russian objectives don’t extend to “regime change” and “de-Nazification.” In which case, the Russia war machine may be all its fans talk it up to be, and is just not being used to achieve objectives that aren’t really objectives.
One seeming fact in support of my theory is that the Russians seem to have sent in far too small a force for anything as large as “regime change” and “de-Nazification.” The estimates I’ve seen have the Russian force size at about 1/3 that of the Ukrainian defensive force. The standard mass doctrine holds that offensive operations require a force three times the size of, not one third the size of, the defending forces. And that’s not even getting into the required forces for occupation/counter-insurgency if the initial “regime change” goal could be achieved at all. But I don’t know that the estimates I’m seeing are anywhere near correct.
There are alternatives to my theory that also don’t downplay the capabilities of the Russian war machine per se. One is that the advent of very effective man-portable anti-tank weapons breaks down the standard doctrine of taking cities by making “infantry supported by armor” an untenable prospect. That wouldn’t mean Russia has a weak war machine. It would just mean that their current doctrine and force array aren’t fit to a particular task.
Another possible doctrinal problem may be that the Russians viewed their rocket capabilities — which, as best I understand them, are first-rate — as more of a “force multiplier” than they actually turned out to be for the specific purposes at hand.
Or, everything could just be going swimmingly for the Russians. Unlike some, I don’t claim to know for sure.
Makes sense. Must think about it. Thanks.
LOL, come on, you never read the article ……. 🙂
The US engineered Ukraine coup had one goal and that was the Naval Base in Crimea , they faild in that so decided to trash the country , i have no doubt if Putin had done nothing the Ukraine would be well on it`s way to joining the EU then NATO and then Russia would have lost it1s Naval Base .
I would disagree, I think it’s a matter of time before Russia pulls out of Mariupol. No country would like another superpower to take their land.
Would you like to give up part of your land to another country? No, I’m sure you will fight. Having Russians living in Donbass doesn’t make that piece of land part of Russia. The Majority in Donbass region is Ukrainians, not Russian. The way Russia is fighting, I will not be surprised if they end up losing ground to the Ukrainians ultimately.
Ukraine is part of Russia , Khrushchev should never have handed it over to the Ukrainians , it was a disaster waiting to happen as recent events have proven.
Historians will disagree with you. Your bias is showing.
The “cauldron” is in place at Kiev …… this is how the Russians fight. They are a hand operated meat grinder…… it is what defeated the Germans and they see no reason to change …….
according to CBS, Mariupal has only been reduced by ‘ten’s’ -a military term to define an offensive flight (Apo: Greek) of either slings or arrows. The word used was Decimated: to be reduced by one in 10 at a time which leaves 90% unscathed.
They had a Finish Security Drone with real sensitive FLIR cameras to detect shades of Infra Red light.
Flying Finnish drones to assess damages in a war zone!
What could go wrong?!!
Two Ukrainian helicopters trying to enter Mariupol shot down. Russian military believes that they attempted to rescue Aziv commanders huding in the city. Those are high on Russian hunt list.
The pictures of the burning landinng ship that was hit by flamable debris shows Mariupol buildings , and they looked remarkably good. It id possible that not all parts of town was the battlefront.
There is a difference between ‘reducing operations’ and ‘withdrawing troops’…
I do not believe these talks are likely to lead anywhere. Perhaps to give time for “Russia’s failed campaign,” “Putin’s terrible error”, “victory for the democratic Ukraine” to be exposed once the main findings of the real results of Russia’s operation are exposed away from the Western propaganda media control.
very good comment.
The Armchairs keep telling us that they knew of the battle plan and how badly Russia is losing. That ‘out of gas’ thing was great, everyone thinks that engaging them is a cake walk.
then out of the blue, all the way in Western Ukraine some cruise missiles (6) are sent and some reportedly were intercepted. One death was the result if I remember correctly.
Then a Hypersonic was put on parade and we get our first chance to track one and observe this new game changer.
It hit home with unbelievable accuracy and performance because it can and all our defenses on it are irrelevant. Why? Because Nazism is part of the Ukrainian’s culture and Nazis and fascist are still unwelcome and are Unacceptable everywhere.
At 6,170 km/ hr and a 2,000 km range, it is over in 20 minutes with hypersonics. This is detente but Ukraine has unregulated militia on prison leave and they are having too much fun being heroes to want to stop with rational moments of clarity.
Zelenski is their benefactor and he is the WAR criminal.
Russia poisoned people with easily identifiable radioactive compounds? I see lots of kabuki but that could be construed as an act of war which they deny performing. Ukrainians had access to identical resources and nobody questioned their integrity. Another perfect crime to blame on Russia? How many of Zelenski’s inmates are gang raping at gun point?
And the wheat needs to be tended! The world food shortage this year is altogether new in magnitude.
Anyone remembers Ross Perot describing Japanese inspection of American lettuce by leaving it in the sun until it perishes? Is that what we’re doing to the peace negotiations?
Civilian warmongers helping the government sustain its wars
Civilian group with US military links raising money to supply Ukrainian fighters
I also think it’s quite telling that a lot of Russia’s own troops don’t want to fight Putin’s war.
Especially not when they see some of their colleagues killing civilians to the right and left.
Kudos to the Russian soldiers that refuse to fight in Ukraine!
Yes good idea to move troops back from a potential blast zone.
A drastic reduction could also mean, they are about to do some serious bombing and don’t want their infantry in the line of blast.
Well, it could mean that.
But given the distances involved, in order for it to mean that, their “precision weapons” would have to be the extreme opposite of “precision.”
in the event of some kind of determinative threat, the sum of all fears is precise enough over the damaged distances from ground zero. I am talking thermonuclear.
as for precision bombing ( at any distance) the HYPERSONIC delivery was astonishing accurate
-very scary accurate and it had conventional explosives.
mach 5 isc 3,800 MP/H; 6,170 KM/H
working range is ~ 2,000 KM.
the extreme precision that Saudis claimed Iran used on the refineries with toy drones and missiles is a myth. This Hypersonic is not a myth and like Saudi Arabia, Everyone was watching with technology capable.
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