photo: russian MoD

The main news today is undoubtedly Ukraine’s talks with russia in Turkey, russia’s statement that the main goal is now Donbas, not all of Ukraine, and the “withdrawal” of russian troops from Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts as a result.

We tried to see what’s going on here and whether you should believe russia’s statements

“It’s early to let your guard down”

Today, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine stated that as of 18:00, separate units of the russian troops are being withdrawn from the territory of Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts and are partially withdrawn to the territory of Belarus. It is also noted that this was the result of Ukraine/russia talks in Turkey. Earlier, Shoigu, who reappeared on russian TV, said that the main goal is now Donbas.

Withdrawal of part of the russian troops is confirmed by experts from the monitoring group Belarusi Gayun, who monitor the movement of russian troops on the territory of Belarus. They report that today and partly yesterday they saw that part of the russian equipment, which was located on the territory of Ukraine, as well as in the border area of ​​Belarus and Ukraine, was being taken into Belarus territory. However, “it’s early to let you guard down”, experts say. According to their data, there have been several missile launches today, as well as departures of aircrafts that can carry cruise missiles. In addition, although part of the russian equipment was loaded into echelons, according to them, there is no confirmation that this equipment left the territory of Belarus and went to russia.

“Repositioning, not a real withdrawal”

The US Department of Defense is also skeptical. Yes, although they confirmed that a “small number” of russian troops had left Kyiv, russia could still apply “massive brutality” to the country, including the capital, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. Source: CNN.

“We believe that this is a repositioning, not a real withdrawal, and that we all should be prepared to watch for a major offensive against other areas of Ukraine. It does not mean the threat to Kyiv is over,”

John Kirby

He also stressed that the number of troops currently being withdrawn is not even close to the number that russia has set against Kyiv.

“Nobody should be fooling ourselves by the Kremlin’s now recent claim that it will suddenly just reduce military attacks near Kyiv, or any reports that it’s going to withdraw all its forces,” .

John Kirby

According to him, all that is known so far is that russian forces are moving “more northward.” The final destination is currently unknown.

“loss of momentum” and the deployment of Wagner mercenaries

At the same time, UK intelligence adds that Russia’s statements about the withdrawal of some Russian units from the areas near Kiev may indicate that Russia recognizes that it has lost the initiative in the region. And now, according to the UK Ministry of Defense, that Russia will try to shift fighting power from the north to the offensive in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

At the same time, there are reports of the Wagner mercenaries being deployed to eastern Ukraine. According to UK intelligence, it is a priority for Putin. Wagner deployment in Ukraine happening due to the constant losses of russia and the lack of progress in the offensive, the UK intelligence added added, and also means that russia has identified the war in Ukraine as a “priority”.

Deja vu

And finally: this is not the first time russia promises to withdraw troops. russia also promised to withdraw them on February 15. Exactly 9 days before starting a full-scale war against Ukraine. Moreover – all evening today the Kyiv city channel, and also channel of the governor of the Mykolayiv region report air raid siren alarms. Local telegram channels report about multiple missile launches from the territory of Belarus which is also confirmed by reports of the Belarus monitoring groups.

And from our personal experience of monitoring russia for the last 8 years, every time Russia tries to play it cool it only means there are sneaky tactics to follow.

On February 24, Russia attacked Ukraine. We continue to follow the development of the situation. If you have information about Russian troops movement or any other information you want to share with us, email us via [email protected] or text in telegram on @JavelinSt. For particularly sensitive data – reach out, we will send more encrypted channels.

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