Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Thursday that Russia’s withdrawal from the capital, Kyiv, was nothing but a tactic and that the situation has been heating up in the southeast, where Russian forces are building up for new powerful attacks, The Associated Press reported.

In his nighttime video address to the nation, Zelenskyy said it was heartening for all Ukrainians to see Russian troops retreating from north of Kyiv, but urged Ukrainians not to let up.

“We know their intentions. We know what they are planning and what they are doing,” Zelenskyy said. “We know that they are moving away from those areas where we hit them in order to focus on other, very important ones where it may be difficult for us.”

“We all want to win,” the President added. “But there will be battles ahead. We still have to go through a very difficult path ahead to get everything we are striving for.”

Moscow said earlier this week it would scale back attacks on Kyiv and another key Ukrainian city.

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.”