A gesture of trust or a chance for Russia to regroup in Ukraine? Vladimir Putin’s military have signalled that they will “fundamentally” scale back operations around two of Ukraine’s key battlegrounds.
So far, it’s met a sceptical response from the West, which has warned “there is what Russia says and what Russia does, and we are focused on the latter”.
After the latest face-to-face talks with Ukraine, Russia’s deputy defence minister claimed Moscow would “reduce military activity” around Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv.
Their forces will focus on the eastern region of Donbas where Russian backed separatists already control a large amount of territory.
Ukrainian officials proposed a 15-year process of negotiations about the status of Crimea – it’s currently occupied by Russia, a status not recognised by Ukraine or the international community.
But at the very moment the talks were underway, the southern city of Mykolaiv was coming under direct Russian attack.