President Zelenskyy is skeptical of Russia's withdrawal announcement, saying "the enemy does not bring us gifts." Meanwhile, a top US general said Russia's army has lost more than 100,000 personnel. DW has the latest.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has reacted skeptically to Moscow's announcement that Russian troops would withdraw from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson.
In a rare move, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised briefing on Wednesday that troops should leave the west bank of the Dnipro River where Kherson is situated.
But Zelenskyy cast doubt on the announcement, saying: "The enemy does not bring us gifts, does not make 'gestures of goodwill.'"
Zelenskyy added in his nightly address that any gains for Ukraine would only come "at the expense of "lives lost by our heroes."
"[Russia] wants to turn Kherson into a 'city of death.' [The Russian] military mines everything they can: apartments, sewers. Artillery on the left bank plans to turn the city into ruins," Zelenskyy's adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said on Thursday.
A British defense intelligence update on Thursday said Russian forces "had been placed under pressure by Ukrainian strikes on Russia's resupply routes."
According to the update, the withdrawal would likely take days as Russia's forces destroyed bridges and "laid mines" to stall advancing Ukrainian troops.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's office said he spoke with Zelenskyy on Thursday and agreed it was write to express caution about Russia's pullout "until the Ukrainian flag was raised over the city."
DW's correspondent in Kyiv, Nick Connelly, said the Russian televised announcement was inconsistent with Moscow's earlier withdrawals from occupied Ukrainian regions.
"This is definitely a break in strategy. Also, all the talk about wanting to save Russian soldiers' lives ... that is also not something that really gels with what Russia has been doing elsewhere," Connelly said, adding that this has led Ukrainians to believe that the announcement is "a trap."