In its most specific description of Russian forces moving away from Kyiv, the Pentagon said “less than 20 percent” of the Russian contingent in the vicinity of the Ukrainian capital are starting to “reposition.”
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby gave no specific troop number on Wednesday. He said those that have begun moving away from Kyiv had been deployed in the vicinity of the Hostomel airport northwest of Kyiv.
Kirby said it appears Russia is pulling troops away from Kyiv in order to resupply and reorganize them for use elsewhere in Ukraine -- not to send them back to Russia.
This came as a US defense official said Wednesday that Russian forces have begun to pull out of the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power site.
"Chernobyl is (an) area where they are beginning to reposition some of their troops -- leaving, walking away from the Chernobyl facility and moving into Belarus," the US official said, AFP reported.
"We think that they are leaving, I can't tell you that they're all gone."
Moscow officials had said earlier this week that they were significantly reducing military operations in the Kyiv area as a gesture to advance peace talks. But Ukrainian and US officials have expressed skepticism about Russian intentions.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian president said his country's defense against the Russian invasion is at a “turning point” and again pressed the United States for more help.
According to The Associated Press, talks between Ukraine and Russia were set to resume Friday by video, said the head of the Ukrainian delegation, David Arakhamia.