Chernobyl nuclear power plant
Chernobyl nuclear power plant iStock

Russian forces have begun to pull out of the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power site, a US defense official said on Wednesday, according to AFP.

"Chernobyl is (an) area where they are beginning to reposition some of their troops -- leaving, walking away from the Chernobyl facility and moving into Belarus," the US official said.

"We think that they are leaving, I can't tell you that they're all gone."

Russian troops seized control of the Chernobyl site -- where radioactive waste is still stored -- on February 24, the first day of the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian forces later captured the Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility after hitting it with artillery fire, setting it ablaze.

There were also reports of artillery shells damaging a nuclear research facility in the city of Kharkiv, though there was no "radiological consequence".

Wednesday’s development comes a day after Moscow said it would scale back attacks on two key Ukrainian cities.

US President Joe Biden later expressed skepticism over Russia’s announcement, saying he was waiting to see what Russia offers in ongoing talks with Ukraine and how Moscow readjusts its troop presence.

“We’ll see," Biden said. "I don’t read anything into it until I see what their actions are.”