Russia on Tuesday announced that it will “drastically scale down” military operations around Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv, Reuters reported.
The announcement was made after negotiators of the two countries met in Turkey for peace talks.
Russia’s Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin said the move was meant “to increase trust” in the peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv.
“Given that the talks on the preparation of an agreement on the neutrality and non-nuclear status of Ukraine have moved into a practical field... a decision has been made to radically... reduce the military activity in the areas of Kyiv and Chernihiv,” Fomin said, according to AFP.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. President Vladimir Putin claims that he launched the “military operation” to “demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine”.
As per the United Nations’ human rights office, the conflict has killed at least 1,179 people, including 104 children. It also said that the real number of deaths could be considerably higher, and noted that there were delays in reporting from areas with intense hostilities.
During Tuesday’s peace talks, Ukraine proposed a status under which it would not join alliances or host bases of foreign troops in exchange for security guarantees, according to Reuters.
Ukrainian negotiators also proposed to include a 15-year consultation period on the status of Crimea, which Russia had annexed in 2014. They, however, said the proposals would come into force only in the event of a complete ceasefire from Russia.
Russia’s chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said he would put forward Ukraine’s proposals to Putin.