The United States is already observing these movements underway, with Russian forces beginning to withdraw from the surrounding areas around Kyiv and focusing on gains in the south and east, according to two US officials.
The US assesses Russia will cover their retreat with air and artillery bombardment of the capital, one of the officials said. US officials caution that Russia could always reverse again if the battle conditions allow.
The US views this as a longer-term move as Russia comes to grips with failure to advance in the north.
Evacuation corridors: Local officials are working to evacuate people living in towns suffering heavy Russian shelling despite the failure of fighting parties to formally agree a humanitarian corridor, the regional governor of Luhansk in Ukraine’s far east said. Thirty people had been moved out of Rubizhne on Tuesday morning, as well as people from other nearby towns, Gov. Serhii Haidai said.
The Ukrainian government said residents of Mariupol, Melitopol and Enerhodar are once again able to reach the city of Zaporizhzhia, which remains in Ukrainian hands and has become the key transit point for people looking to escape fighting in the southeast. This comes after Ukraine said Monday that no corridors would function over fears of possible "provocations" by Russian forces.
Ukraine counterattacks: Military officials say Ukraine has launched counteroffensives against Russian forces in the Kyiv region as well as in the south of the country. Russian forces have been struggling to hold their front line northwest of the city of Kherson, and Ukrainian officials say the military has also pushed Russian troops back around 31 miles (50 kilometers) in fighting near the city of Kryvyi Rih.
Here's a look at the map of Ukraine as it stands amid the Russian invasion:
10:16 a.m. ET, March 29, 2022
More than 3.9 million refugees have fled Ukraine, according to UN
From Benjamin Brown
More than 3.9 million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion began in late February, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Tuesday.
The 3,901,713 refugees registered as of Monday include 203,000 third-country nationals, according to the International Organization for Migration.
1:30 p.m. ET, March 29, 2022
Turkey's foreign minister hails Tuesday's Russia-Ukraine talks as the "most meaningful progress" yet
From CNN's Yusuf Gezer in Istanbul
Turkey’s foreign minister said “consensus and common understanding” was reached between Ukrainian and Russian delegations on some issues during talks in Istanbul on Tuesday.
“The most meaningful progress in negotiations has been made today,” Mevlüt Cavusoglu said of the talks brokered by Turkey. He hailed the progress made in particular on the “top priority of achieving a ceasefire as soon as possible to pave the way for a permanent political solution.”
Cavusoglu said the “trickier” issues are now to be discussed at higher levels, with a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian Foreign Ministers to “make final adjustments to the common approach.” Following that, a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is on the agenda, he said.
About the talks: The Russian delegation to Russia-Ukraine talks in Istanbul announced two steps to de-escalate the conflict toward Ukraine following a first day of talks, Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian presidential adviser also Mykhailo Podolyak said enough progress was made during talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations on Tuesday in Istanbul to allow Putin and Zelensky to meet. Speaking in Istanbul after talks wrapped between the two sides on Tuesday, Podolyak said there was now a "likelihood" that the two presidents may meet.
1:30 p.m. ET, March 29, 2022
US markets open higher following Russia-Ukraine peace talks
From CNN’s Nicole Goodkind
US stocks opened higher on Tuesday as investors carefully watched ceasefire negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. Russian officials met with a Ukrainian delegation in Turkey, and both parties said the talks were constructive.
Oil prices fell on the news: Brent crude fell to $106 a barrel, and US West Texas Intermediate crude was below $100. Both benchmarks lost 7% on Monday.
Here's how the US stock market looked at the opening today:
The Dow gained 1%
The S&P 500 was up about 1%
The Nasdaq Composite grew by 1.1%
The 5-year Treasury note, meanwhile, rose above the 30-year on Monday and remained there on Tuesday. This is the first inversion since 2006, and investors are worried that it signals an impending recession.
The US government will release its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, at 10 a.m. ET today. It’s expected to show that the number of available jobs is down slightly from January’s surprisingly high total of 11.26 million.
1:30 p.m. ET, March 29, 2022
Ukrainians will vote on any proposed new security status, presidential adviser says
From CNN's Andrew Carey and Julia Presniakova in Lviv
Ukrainians will be asked in a referendum to approve any agreement linking neutrality status with security guarantees, Mykhaylo Podoliak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said.
“It will be a referendum in which all citizens of Ukraine will express their position on this agreement, on how it should work,” he told Ukrainian television.
Only after any approval would it go for ratification by the parliaments of the guarantor countries and the parliament of Ukraine, he said.
Podoliak said it was essential the government had the backing of the Ukrainian people for this agreement.
9:48 a.m. ET, March 29, 2022
At least 9 dead in Russian strike on regional administrative building in Mykolaiv, regional officials say
From CNN staff and Olga Voitovych in Lviv, and Ben Wedeman and Kareem Khadder in Mykolaiv
At least nine people were killed and 22 injured in a Russian strike on the office of the regional military governor of Ukraine's southwestern Mykolaiv region on Tuesday, according to the the Mykolaiv regional media office's Telegram channel.
The Russian strike demolished half of the building, Gov. Vitalii Kim said.
"They [the Russians] hit the building of the regional administration, demolished half of the building, hit my office. Most people were miraculously saved," Kim said in a statement on Telegram.
"Eight civilians are under the rubble, we are searching for them. 50-100 people came out. We are also searching for three servicemen," he added.
The State Emergency Service of Ukraine said the strike hit the nine-story building Tuesday morning at about 8.45 a.m. local time.
"The central section of the building from the ninth to the first floor was destroyed, without fire ensuing," the statement said. "As of 11:30, rescuers pulled one dead from the rubble, 18 of those rescued were hospitalised. Rescuers are working at the scene."
1:27 p.m. ET, March 29, 2022
Ukrainians outline demands for security guarantees, note possible progress on Crimea after talks with Russia
From CNN's Tim Lister and Niamh Kennedy
Senior members of the Ukrainian delegation who spoke with Russian officials today said there was progress after a day of talks in Turkey — and provided more detail on what security guarantees Ukraine would expect after a ceasefire.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, referred to talks about the status of Crimea, which annexed by Russia in 2014.
"I want to emphasize as regards the territories of Crimea and Sevastopol, it was agreed in bilateral format to take a pause for 15 years and conduct bilateral talks on the status of these territories," he said.
Ukraine and the West have refused to recognize the Russian annexation of the peninsula, and the pause could be a formula for taking the issue off the table for now.
"Separately, we discussed that during 15 years while the bilateral talks take place, there will be no military hostilities," Podolyak added.
He also referred to one of the toughest elements in the talks: security guarantees for Ukraine if and when a ceasefire and peace settlement are agreed upon.
"Undoubtedly, this treaty on security guarantees may only be signed after a ceasefire and the complete withdrawal of Russian troops to their positions on the 23rd of February 2022," he said.
"We are simply bringing our proposals as negotiators to Russia about the system of security guarantees of Ukraine," he continued.
Podolyak said the Russian negotiators have "taken the treaty that outlines ways to end the war" and will work out their counter-proposals.
He added that both sides are still "discussing a humanitarian ceasefire," stressing there are "many places where humanitarian corridors are needed."
Another member of the Ukrainian team, David Arakhamia, also spoke about security guarantees. "We insist that this be an international treaty, signing all the guarantors of security, which will be ratified."
He said this would be comparable to NATO's Article 5, which enshrines the principle of collective defense. The arrangement, he said, would be similar to Article 5, "but even with a stricter activation mechanism."
"We say that consultations should take place within three days. They need to find out if this is war, aggression, a military operation. ... After that, the guarantor countries are obliged to help us. And military aid, and the armed forces, and weapons, and the closed sky — all that we need so much now, and we cannot get it. This is our proposal," he said.
Arakhamia named the guarantors as "the [permanent] countries of the UN Security Council" as well as Turkey, Germany, Canada, Italy, Poland and Israel.
"We have stipulated in this agreement that the guarantor countries must not only not deny Ukraine's accession to the EU, but also help with it," he said.
Arakhamia added: "Of course, we have unresolved issues with the occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, with Crimea and Sevastopol. And international security guarantees will not work temporarily in these territories."
A third member of the Ukrainian delegation, Oleksandr Chalyi, also stressed the three-day deadline for consultations in the event of "any aggression, military attack or military operation."
"And if these consultations do not lead to a diplomatic solution to the problem, the guarantor countries must provide us with military assistance, weapons, and even we include such a situation as closed airspace over Ukraine," Chalyi said.
Speaking to Ukrainian television, he said: "Doing everything possible to restore Ukraine's security is a key requirement. If we manage to consolidate these key provisions, which is the most fundamental requirement for us, Ukraine will in fact be in a position to fix its current status as a non-aligned and non-nuclear state in the form of permanent neutrality."
"Accordingly, these guarantees, which are in fact in line with NATO Article 5, as required by our country's Constitution. [We] will not deploy foreign military bases or military contingents on our territory, and we will not enter into military-political alliances. Military trainings in our country will be conducted with the consent of our guarantor countries," Chalyi said.
"However, it is fundamental for us that nothing in these provisions will deny our accession to the EU. The guarantor countries are also committed to facilitating these processes," he added.
1:27 p.m. ET, March 29, 2022
Both sides discuss possible meeting between Putin and Zelensky
From CNN's Niamh Kennedy in London and CNN staff
The Russian delegation to Russia-Ukraine talks in Istanbul announced two steps to de-escalate the conflict toward Ukraine following a first day of talks, Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.
The head of the Russian delegation, presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, called the negotiations “constructive," RIA reported.
The Russian General Staff will announce more details on steps to reduce hostilities in Ukraine after the Russian delegation to talks in Istanbul returns, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said Tuesday in remarks carried by Russian state news agency TASS.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said enough progress was made during talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations on Tuesday in Istanbul to allow Putin and Zelensky to meet. Speaking in Istanbul after talks wrapped between the two sides on Tuesday, Podolyak said there was now a "likelihood" that the two presidents may meet.
"We have documents prepared now which allow the presidents to meet on a bilateral basis," he said.
Talks between the two parties will "continue online 24/7," Podolyak said, adding that Ukraine needs "clear legal wording."
"The Russian delegation is constructive and aware. This doesn't mean that negotiations are easy. They are very difficult. But the Russian side is paying attention to the Russian proposals, to the Ukrainian proposals," he added.