In a major development, as the war enters the sixth week, Ukraine on Saturday claimed to have taken control over the capital Kyiv, the city surrounded by Russian troops after Moscow launched a full-scale invasion on February 24.
Meanwhile, Russian forces are regrouping for battles in east Ukraine.
Moreover, the Ukrainian deputy defence minister, Hanna Malyar, wrote on Facebook, “The whole Kyiv region is liberated from the invader.”
Ukraine’s forces have retaken more than 30 towns & villages around Kyiv since Russia pulled back from the area this week, Ukrainian officials said.
While Russia has portrayed the withdrawal of forces near Kyiv as a goodwill gesture amid the ongoing peace talks, Ukraine and its allies say Russia was forced to shift its focus to the eastern region of Ukraine after suffering heavy casualties near Kyiv.
At the same time, the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, alerted in one of the video addresses, “They are mining all this territory. Houses are mined, equipment is mined, and even the dead bodies of people.”
Several reports citing the Ukrainian emergency service, “More than 1,500 explosives had been traced in one day during a search of the village of Dmytrivka, located in the west of Kyiv.
As per one of the Ukrainian negotiators, “Two sides seem to be closing consensus. The Russian Federation has given an official answer to all positions, which is that they accept the (Ukraine) position, except for the issue of Crimea (annexed by Russia in 2014), David Arakhamia was quoted as saying by several reports.