“Ukrainians aren’t naive,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, reacting to Russia’s promise that it would scale down military operations around Kyiv and Chernihiv.
The pledge came after peace talks began on Tuesday between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul, reports the BBC.
But a sceptical Zelensky said that while initial signs from the talks were “positive”, they do not “drown out” the explosions of Russian shells.
Other countries also reacted with caution.
US President Joe Biden said, “I don’t read anything into it until I see what their actions are.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there was a difference between what Russia says and does.
Leaders from UK, France, Germany and Italy too have urged the West not to drop its guard against Russia.
“They agreed there could be no relaxation of Western resolve until the horror inflicted on Ukraine is over,” they said, according to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian armed forces have said in a daily update that Russian troops continue to “commit illegal acts” against the local population in Zaporizhzhia in south-eastern Ukraine, and Kherson in the south.
The BBC has not been able to verify the claims but Ukrainian forces said that:
• Russia continues to deploy troops to Ukraine
• Russian forces continue to raid the homes of local residents, detain pro-Ukrainian activists and government officials
The statement comes in the wake of a Russian pledge at peace talks in Istanbul on Tuesday to “drastically scale down” military operations around Kyiv.