Heavy fighting broke out near the Ukrainian capital on Thursday, two days after the Kremlin said it would “radically” reduce its fighting forces there as a goodwill gesture.
Oleksandr Palviuk, governor of the Kyiv oblast, said on Telegram Thursday that Russian forces continued their shelling of Irpin and Makariv and that there were battles around Hostomel.
Pavliuk said there were Ukrainian counterattacks and some Russian withdrawals around the suburb of Brovary to the east.
He said Ukrainian forces were conducting operations “in all directions.”
The fighting comes just two days after Russia claimed it would scale back its forces around Kyiv and Chernihiv amid peace talks in Istanbul. Shelling has continued unabated, however, and a Pentagon analysis Wednesday said less than 20 percent of Russia’s forces had moved since the announcement.
Those forces were seen making their way to the Belarusian border, where Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said they were expected to be rearmed and returned to the fight.
As fighting continues in Ukraine’s north, Russian forces are also concentrating on the Donbas region in the east.
Home to the cities Mariupol and Donetsk, the Donbas region has been a flashpoint since 2014 when Russian forces backed a separatist movement in concert with their annexation of Crimea.
In his morning briefing, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged “a buildup of Russian forces for new strikes on the Donbas, and we are preparing for that.”
With Post wires