Speed Reads

breaking their word

Russian strikes on Kyiv and Chernihiv cast doubt on peace talks

Peace talks in Istanbul appeared to be showing results when Russia announced Tuesday that it would scale back military operations in northern Ukraine.

Those hopes were dashed on Wednesday when, according to The New York Times, local Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces had launched new strikes in the region.

A Russian deputy defense minister said Tuesday that Moscow would "reduce military activity" around Kyiv and the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, both of which are key Russian objectives. In the past week, Ukraine's military has successfully retaken territory in the Kyiv suburbs. Ukrainian sources report that some of the Russian units around Kyiv appear to be pulling back toward Belarus, possibly to regroup and re-supply.

On Tuesday, an unnamed U.S. official warned that Russian guarantees were not to be trusted. "[N]o one should be fooled by Russia's announcements," he said, adding that "any movement of Russian forces from around Kyiv" is likely "a redeployment, not a withdrawal."

Biden also expressed skepticism. According to USA Today, he responded, "We'll see," when asked about Russia's promise to reduce military operations.