Russian withdrawal in Ukraine 'slow but noticeable' as Zelenskyy warns of 'hard battle ahead'

Russia previously said it had agreed to "radically reduce" military activity in Kyiv and Chernihiv

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Russian forces are withdrawing from some parts of Ukraine at a “slow but noticeable" rate, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said.

The invasion, which has already lasted more than a month, has wreaked havoc across large areas of Ukraine.

But earlier this week, following talks between the two nations, Russia said it would be pulling back from Kyiv and Chernihiv.

Speaking after the talks in Istanbul, Turkey, Russian Defence Minister, Alexander Fomin revealed that the Kremlin had agreed to “radically reduce” military activity in both cities.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy
Damage laid bare in Ukraine
Damage laid bare in Ukraine

Mr Fomin said the decision to pull back was taken in the interest of creating mutual trust and the necessary conditions for further talks to take place.

Ukraine has previously played down Russia’s statement, saying that it fears it to be a ploy to mislead and create a “misconception”.

But speaking in a video address released on Friday night, Mr Zelenskyy confirmed that Russian troops were indeed taking small steps back in the north of the country.

The Ukrainian President said: “In the north of our country, the withdrawal of the occupiers continues.

“Slow but noticeable. In some parts, they are being expelled with fighting, in other parts they are leaving their positions themselves,”

Mr Zelenskyy continued by warning Ukrainians that the battle is not over yet.

He added: “We have hard battles ahead. It is still impossible to think that we have already passed all the tests.

“We all want to win. But when it will be - everyone will see it. Everyone will feel that peace is coming.”