The Russian aggressions on other areas of the country and the shelling have dampened optimism regarding any progress in negotiations to end the resolute war.
Russia's military announced plans to deescalate in the vicinity of the capital and northern city Chernihiv to increase mutual trust. However, the Russian military didn't explain what they were going to do. This was met with suspicion by the West and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian President.
Soon afterwards, Ukrainian officials stated that Russian shelling had hit civilian sites in Chernihiv, including stores, homes, and libraries. After redeploying units from other areas of the country, the Russian side claimed that they increased their attacks on the eastern Donetsk and eastern Izyum regions.
After five weeks of the invasion, the number fleeing Ukraine reached a staggering 4,000,000 . The United Nations also stated that the economic consequences from war and West's sanctions on Moscow had widened.
Germany, Europe’s industrial powerhouse, has issued a warning about its natural gas supplies amid fears that Russia could cut off supplies . Poland also announced plans to stop all Russian oil imports by 2022.
The faint outline of a potential peace agreement was evident at a round in Istanbul on Tuesday when the Ukrainian delegation presented a framework in which Ukraine would declare its neutrality -- dropping its bid for NATO membership, as Moscow long demanded -- in exchange for security guarantees from other countries.
Vladimir Medinsky (head of the Russian delegation) stated that Ukraine's willingness to consider neutral status would satisfy a key Russian demand.
Medinsky stated in televised comments, that the proposals indicated Ukraine's willingness to reach an agreement "for the very first time in many years," and that if Ukraine accepts its offer, the threat of establishing a NATO bridgehead in Ukraine will be eliminated. "
Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesperson, echoed a positive tone but said that there have not been any breakthroughs or promising news. "
Zelenskyy responded to the Kremlin's announcement of a reduction in its military operations by saying, "You can only trust concrete results when dealing with Russians." "
"We judge Russia's military machine by its actions and not its words," Dominic Raab, British Deputy Prime Minister, said to Sky News. "
He said: "Officially, the door of diplomacy will always remain open, but I don’t believe you can trust the words coming out of Putin’s war machine. "
Wednesday's skeptical mood was well-founded.
Viacheslav Chaus, the regional governor, stated that the enemy strikes had demonstrated the so-called decrease in activity in Chernihiv. He also mentioned that they attacked Nizhyn and Chernihiv all night. "
Oleksandr Pavliuk, chief of the Kyiv regional military administration, stated that Russian shells had hit civilian infrastructure and residential areas in the Bucha and Brovary regions around the capital.
Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson, stated that the military attacked fuel depots in two cities in central Ukraine using long-range cruise missiles. Russian forces also struck a headquarters of the Ukrainian Special Forces in the southern Mykolaiv area and ammunition depots within the Donetsk region.
The barrages were issued as Britain's Defense Ministry warned, that although heavy losses forced some Russian units back to Russia and Belarus to regroup and replenish, Moscow will likely compensate for any reductions in ground maneuvers with mass artillery and missile attacks.
Russian military officers have stated in recent days that the main goal is to "liberate" Donbas. Western officials claimed that Moscow is strengthening troops in Donbas.
Analysts have suggested that the Kremlin's apparent de-escalation of its war aims and promise to de-escalate might merely be an attempt to make reality seem positive: Moscow's ground forces have been defeated and suffered heavy losses in their attempt to take over the capital.
Two people were killed when a missile struck an apartment block in Donetsk, the rebel-controlled capital. The attack was blamed on Ukrainian forces.
"I was sitting on the couch, and -- bang! - the window glass popped. The frames fell off," stated resident Anna Gorda.
The U.N. Food Aid Agency stated that it was providing emergency assistance for 1 million Ukrainians. It claimed that 330,000 fresh bread loaves were being prepared for the families living in Kharkiv, which is heavily bombarded.
"Children and our city are in pain," Tetyana Parmynska (28-year-old) from Chernihiv, told the refugee center in Poland that children and their families were suffering. She was accompanied by a man who played songs on a battered keyboard with a peace emblem. "