Russian troops keep pummeling Kyiv despite new focus on Donbas, residents say

Russian troops keep pummeling Kyiv despite new focus on Donbas, residents say

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Russian forces have kept up a ruthless bombardment of the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv, despite official statements claiming that Russian troops are withdrawing from Kyiv and Chernihiv to refocus on the eastern Donbas region, Kyiv residents tell Fox News.

“After their statements yesterday nothing has changed at all,” Maryan Zablotskyy, a member of the Ukrainian parliament who got his wife and child out of Kyiv, told Fox News Digital. “Fighting [continued] all through the night around Kyiv.”

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“They are forced to retreat from different areas around Kyiv,” Zablotskyy noted, “but only if they are successfully pushed back.”

Food warehouse destroyed as a result of shelling by the Russian troops, Brovary, Kyiv Region, north-central Ukraine on March 29, 2022.

Food warehouse destroyed as a result of shelling by the Russian troops, Brovary, Kyiv Region, north-central Ukraine on March 29, 2022. (Photo by Hennadii MInchenko/Ukrinform/ABACAPRESS.COM)

“Yesterday’s statement is just a recognition of some military setbacks, and they finally realized that their forces are stretched too thin,” he added. “Some of their units were close to being surrounded at Irpin.”

Ukrainian forces retook Irpin, a city near Kyiv, on Monday. 

Rescuers eliminate the consequences of the Russian shelling of a food warehouse, Brovary, Kyiv Region, north-central Ukraine on March 29, 2022.

Rescuers eliminate the consequences of the Russian shelling of a food warehouse, Brovary, Kyiv Region, north-central Ukraine on March 29, 2022. (Photo by Hennadii MInchenko/Ukrinform/ABACAPRESS.COM)

Russia claimed to be reducing its military presence in Kyiv and Chernihiv on Tuesday. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reportedly said that “liberating Donbas” in eastern Ukraine – where Russian-backed separatists have taken power – is Moscow’s primary objective.

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“Nothing is changing whatsoever,” Mark Savchuk, Kyiv-based coordinator of the Ukraine Volunteer Journalists Initiative (UVJI), told Fox News Digital. “The fact that people in the world still listen to Russians is super depressing.”

These images and video show Ukrainian firefighters tackling a blaze at an industrial fuel storage company in Lutsk in the West of the country following a Russian missile strike on the facility on Sunday (27 March 2022).

These images and video show Ukrainian firefighters tackling a blaze at an industrial fuel storage company in Lutsk in the West of the country following a Russian missile strike on the facility on Sunday (27 March 2022).

“All it is is a shifting of priorities – they move forces to the south,” Savchuk insisted. “Fighting near Kyiv will remain as it is now. Nothing will change. All that’s changed is their top priority is no longer Kyiv, but Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the south.”

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Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Tuesday that the U.S. has seen “increased activity” and “offensive activity” by Russian forces in the Donbas region of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s general staff reported that Russia transferred about 2,000 troops from Georgia to fight in Ukraine.

Map depicting Ukraine, Russia, Crimea, the Donbas region held by pro-Russian forces, and nearby countries. Ian Jopson, Fox Digital

Map depicting Ukraine, Russia, Crimea, the Donbas region held by pro-Russian forces, and nearby countries. Ian Jopson, Fox Digital (Fox News)