They resumed direct talks that Ukraine hopes will lead to a ceasefire following more than a month after Vladimir Putin's brutal invasion. Russia declared that it would "drastically decrease" its offensive in Kyiv and other cities "to increase mutual trust" to allow the talks to continue.
Officials from Ukraine have called for a ceasefire to allow thousands of civilians to flee besieged cities and towns that are being bombarded by Russian forces.
Russia's leading negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said Tuesday that his country received a "clearly formulated position" from Ukraine and that the possibility of peace is closer if both sides work fast to reach compromises.
As the sides try to reach mutual "security guarantee," some Ukrainian negotiators indicated that they had made progress.
David Arahamia was one of the Ukrainian negotiators. He declared a "first win" by moving the venue from Belarus, a Russian ally, to Turkey. "We consider Turkey to be one of our guarantors for Ukrainian safety."
The most important declaration following Tuesday's talks was made by Moscow. There, the ministry of defense released a statement stating that it would "reduce militarism" to "create the conditions necessary for further negotiations."
Since last week, the leaders of Ukraine have made it clear that they are willing to accept a neutral status for their country. This would exclude NATO membership and place restrictions on the military in return for an end to the war.
"Due to the fact the negotiations on the preparation of the Treaty on the Neutrality and Non-Nuclear Status of Ukraine, and on the Provision of Security Guarantees to Ukraine are moving into practice, taking account of the principles discussed during this meeting, by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation -- to increase mutual trust, create the necessary conditions to further negotiations, and achieve the ultimate goal... a decision has been made to reduce, at times, military activity in the Kyiv, and Chernihiv Directions," said Alexander Fomin, Russia's Deputy
Although it wasn't immediately clear how Russia's military would reduce its artillery bombardment against Kyiv's suburbs or the devastated city of Chernihiv close to Russia's border, it was the first indication Moscow had given that it would decrease the intensity of its "special army operation" since its inception on February 24.
Russia's defense ministry said that it will now concentrate its efforts on eastern Ukraine in order to secure the "independence of" two regions that were seized by Moscow-backed separatist fighters.
Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, said that the round of Russia-Ukraine negotiations in his country had made "the most significant progress" toward ending the war. However, his American counterpart Secretary of State Antony Blinken was cautious.
Blinken said Tuesday that he would let his Ukrainian partners determine if there has been any progress or if Russia is engaging in meaningful ways. "What I can tell you is that there are two things: what Russia says and what Russia does. We are focusing on the latter. Russia continues to brutalize Ukraine and its people. This is going on as we speak.
Russia's defense ministry claimed that the tactics change was due to peace negotiations. However, a former Ukrainian ambassador said to BBC News that Russia was being forced to accept the realities of the ground.
After Tuesday's talks, Ukraine's ex-ambassador to Austria, Dr. Olexander Scherba, said that "Maybe they realize they aren't winning this war and they won't win." "We know what our fighting for, Russians do not."
Holly Williams, a senior CBS News foreign correspondent, reports that Putin's ground troops have been stuck for several weeks as they approach Kyiv and other cities. They are suffering heavy losses. According to a NATO official, 15,000 Russian troops were killed in less than a month of fighting.
Russia is unable to advance because of logistical failures, stiff Ukrainian resistance, and has turned to war of attrition to bombard cities far away with missiles, artillery, and artillery.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian President, stated Monday evening in a video that Russia's "ruthless War against Our Nation" had resulted in at least 143 deaths.
He praised Ukraine's defense forces for not allowing Russian troops to take Kyiv and claimed that they were pushing Putin's military from some towns it had seized close to the capital.
Zelenskyy stated that "our defenders are moving in the Kyiv area, returning control over Ukrainian territory." "The occupiers are being pushed away Irpin, Kyiv. It is too early to speak of security in this region. Fighting continues."
Williams and her team witnessed this week firsthand how advances made by Ukraine's soldiers do not guarantee safety of residents in towns reclaimed from Russia.
Williams was on Monday with the Ukrainian forces, as they traveled by road towards Makariv (about 40 miles west from Kyiv). Ukraine claimed that its troops had captured Makariv, but the Ukrainian forces came upon Russian drones as they approached.
It was an extremely stressful situation. The convoy parked their vehicles at the side of the road twice and fled for cover. You could hear the sound of shells hitting nearby.
Williams stated that it was evident that Ukraine's struggle for freedom could prove to be difficult and long.