In the north Caucasus, Eristov pushed southwest, fought two battles, forced the Ottomans back to Batum, retired behind the Cholok River and suspended action for the rest of the year (June). In the far south, Wrangel pushed west, fought a battle and occupied Bayazit. In the centre. the main forces stood at Kars and Gyumri. Both slowly approached along the Kars-Gyumri road and faced each other, neither side choosing to fight (June–July). On 4 August, Russian scouts saw a movement which they thought was the start of a withdrawal, the Russians advanced and the Ottomans attacked first. They were defeated at the Battle of Kürekdere and lost 8,000 men to the Russian 3,000. Also, 10,000 irregulars deserted to their villages. Both sides withdrew to their former positions. About then, the Persians made a semi-secret agreement to remain neutral in exchange for the cancellation of the indemnity from the previous war.