Pentagon refuses to dub Russian moves around Kyiv as ‘withdrawal’

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The Pentagon on Tuesday responded to Russian claims that they were scaling back military operations in Ukraine, refusing to call Moscow’s moves a “withdrawal” or “retreat.”

“We believe that this is a repositioning, not a real withdrawal,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said.

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Kirby added: “We’re seeing a small number now that appears to be moving away from Kyiv, this on the same day that the Russians say they’re withdrawing.”

The Pentagon’s comments came hours after Russia said it would reduce military operations around the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as peace talks were set to resume.

Kirby said Russia “failed” in its objective to capture Kyiv but warned that the war was not over.

“We think that what they probably have in mind is a repositioning to prioritize elsewhere,” Kirby said. “We all should be prepared to watch for a major offensive against other areas of Ukraine.”

Separately, the Pentagon announced that 10 F-18 fighter jets and more than 200 US troops were being deployed to Lithuania. This comes a day after the US announced that it was sending six EA-18G Growler aircraft to Germany.

Read more: Russian troops ‘digging in,’ establishing defensive positions in Kyiv: Pentagon

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