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Russian forces bombarded the outskirts of Kyiv and a besieged city in northern Ukraine on Wednesday, a day after promising to scale down operations there in what the West dismissed as a ploy to regroup by invaders taking heavy losses.

Nearly five weeks into an invasion in which it has failed to capture any major cities, Russia said it would curtail operations near Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv “to increase mutual trust” for peace talks.

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