Putin backs down as he claims to 'drastically cuts' military activity near Kyiv

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The shock move has been announced by Russia’s deputy defence ministry on Tuesday after negotiation talks between Russian and Ukrainian teams in Istanbul.

Russian Deputy Minister of Defence, Alexander Fomin, said the decision was taken in the interest of creating mutual trust and the necessary conditions for further talks to take place.

The general staff are set to reveal in more detail the decisions that had been taken after the Russian delegation returned to Moscow, Fomin said.

Ukraine’s military said it had noted withdrawals around both cities. 

Ukrainian and Russian officials held face-to-face talks in Istanbul, Turkey on Tuesday. 

Ukraine’s top priority from the talks was to secure an immediate ceasefire, but both sides minimised the prospect of any breakthrough.

The country is said to have proposed a neutral status in exchange for security guarantees in the latest round of talks with Russia, meaning it would not join military alliances or host military bases such as NATO.

The negotiators told Aljazeera reporters the proposals would also include a 15-year consultation period on the status of annexed Crimea, which was seized by Russia in 2014, and could come into force only in the event of a complete ceasefire.



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