Russia continues to hammer Ukraine, fueling skepticism over Putin’s intentions as his war creates 4 million refugees

Kyiv — Russia’s relentless bombing campaign Ukraine fuels skepticism over Moscow’s claim that it will “significantly reduce” its military operations in two regions of the country to “increase mutual trust” and encourage peace talks. Despite ongoing negotiations, the war continues.

On Wednesday, the United Nations said it had driven more than 4 million people to flee Ukraine, disrupting their lives and making them refugees. At least 6 million more Ukrainians have been forced from their homes to seek refuge elsewhere in the country.

As CBS News correspondent Debora Patta reports from the capital of kyiv – one of the areas where Russia has said it will scale back its assault – US military officials view President Vladimir Putin’s latest move more as a repositioning forces only as a retreat, and in Kyiv and elsewhere the threat remained high on Wednesday.

Discussions in boardrooms like Tuesday’s peace talks in Turkey mean little on the battlefield. Patta says the Ukrainians are not letting their guard down, with soldiers continuing to patrol checkpoints around kyiv on high alert as they search for Russian saboteurs.

With shelling still heard north of the capital on Wednesday morning, it was clear that danger still lurked on the ground and in the sky.

“The enemy is still there,” President Volodomyr Zelensky told his country on Wednesday night after Russia’s announcement. “The missiles and air attacks have not stopped…this is the reality.”

Few places have felt this more than the southeastern port city of Mariupol, which all but collapsed. Even if peace has a chance, all that remains of Mariupol is rubble and ruins.

The children of the besieged city, and many others like her in southern and eastern Ukraine, want their childhood back.

“I’m so tired,” said one little girl. “And my toys don’t have batteries.”

Ukraine claims to regain lost ground


Older Ukrainians just want to forget.

“What else can I do,” Genaidy asked as he salvaged what he could from his damaged apartment to flee Mariupol. “There is nothing left for me here.”

He is leaving after nearly 40 years working as a shoemaker in the city.

Russian-backed separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine – where the now raging war has been quietly simmering since Putin’s last invasion in 2014 – are in no mood for peace. A video emerged showing rebels forcing Ukrainians to strip, claiming they were looking for nazi tattoos.

In nearby Mykolaiv, a Russian rocket ripped through a government building on Tuesday, leaving a gaping hole and further trauma. A woman watched helplessly as her colleague died in her arms – one of 12 people killed in the strike according to Ukraine’s state emergency service.

Rescuers work at the site of the regional administration building hit by cruise missiles, Mykolaiv
Rescuers work in the regional administration building, which was hit by cruise missiles, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, in a photo posted on March 30, 2022 by Ukrainian State Emergency Service.


Even if the Russian army keeps its promise to withdraw from kyiv, in the cities around the capital, where fierce battles have raged, there is not much left to fight.

While Ukraine claims to have taken over nearby towns like Irpin, these areas have been decimated and many people have not made it out alive.

The UK said on Wednesday its latest intelligence showed some Russian troops were withdrawing from the outskirts of kyiv to Belarus and Russia, “to reorganize and resupply” after suffering heavy losses. The Ukrainian government has said it expects Russia to keep troops near the capital, to keep up the pressure and prevent Ukrainian forces from moving towards the eastern front, where the war is still raging.

Russia says it will limit aggression near kyiv


Zelenskyy, along with the United States and his other Western partners, have made it clear they will believe Russia is claiming to be facilitating the assault on kyiv and the northeastern city of Chernihiv when they see it happening. , and not before. Thirty-five days into an invasion that Putin insisted for months he had no intention of launching, the skepticism was unsurprising.

On Wednesday morning, the governor of Chernihiv said his region had been “pounded all night” by Russian artillery: “Civil infrastructure was again destroyed, libraries, shopping malls and other facilities were destroyed , and many houses were destroyed”.

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