Pentagon: Russia has fully withdrawn from Kyiv, Chernihiv
Russian forces have fully withdrawn from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and the city of Chernihiv to its north, the Pentagon said as Moscow prepares to concentrate its invading forces in the eastern part of the country.
“We are assessing that all of the Russians have left,” said a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity under terms set by the Pentagon. The Pentagon had confirmed the full departure only in the last 24 hours, this person said, cautioning that Russian forces may have left mines in their wake that would still need to be cleared.
U.S. and European intelligence officials have been tracking for days that Russia is in the midst of reorienting after encountering fierce resistance — and suffering thousands of casualties — in northern Ukraine. Moscow enjoys greater support in the east, where Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists have been locked in a grinding conflict for many years.
But while Russia’s withdrawal from Ukraine’s capital region appears to be complete, with many units retreating through Belarus, the Pentagon has yet to see those personnel reenter eastern Ukraine, the senior defense official said Wednesday.
The United States announced Tuesday night the approval of an additional $100 million in military assistance for Ukraine, a move made in part to ensure Ukrainian forces will have the weapons they need to fight for the Donbas region, the official said, adding that there is particular interest in Javelin anti-armor systems.