Pentagon says Russian forces outside kyiv and Chernihiv have ‘completely withdrawn’.
The United States has seen Russian forces withdraw completely from areas around Kyiv and Chernihiv to regroup in Belarus and Russia, a senior US defense official said on Wednesday.
“We are not showing Russian forces in or around Kyiv or north of Kyiv, and we are not showing Russian forces in or around Chernihiv,” the official told reporters.
“Now we have seen that the Russians have moved from the north to Belarus and Russia to refit and resupply. We have seen indications that that refurbishment and resupply is taking place,” the official added.
Russian forces are withdrawing from positions in Ukraine as Moscow looks to regroup following what now appears to be a failed invasion of the country on February 24.
In late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to change his plans from an invasion aimed at overthrowing Kyiv to an offensive focused on the Donbas in the east. The move follows the Kremlin’s push to seize the capital city and other major metropolitan areas after coming up against fierce Ukrainian forces armed with Western-supplied weapons.
Kremlin troops continue to shell major cities as they withdraw and have launched more than 1,450 missiles at Ukraine since the invasion began, the official said.
But the official said that “we are assessing that they have completely withdrawn from Kyiv and from Chernihiv.”
There have also been reports and images of atrocities as Russian forces vacate previously controlled areas, including Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv.
The United States does not yet have investigators on the ground to document what President Biden has called war crimes, but the apparent killings of civilians appear to be “premeditated,” “planned” and “very, very deliberate,” the official said.