War To Protect Kyiv Continues
Russian forces are continuing to move towards Kyiv, but have been repelled in Bucha and Irpin, on the northwest outskirts, after what is being reported as a poorly coordinated attack by irregular forces. These moves come after several days of heavy fighting in the area since Russia staged an airborne landing of forces in the nearby Hostomel military airport.
In an interview with Associated Press, the capital’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said that the city had been encircled, though his press team clarified that he was speaking figuratively and that Kyiv wasn’t literally blocked. Routes to the south remained free on Sunday.
Klitschko stated that there were no Russian troops in the capital itself because of the actions of Ukrainian forces that included military police, national guards and volunteers. Since the attack on 24 February, nine civilians, 18 fighters and four unidentified persons had been killed in the capital has declared the mayor. 106 had been injured, 46 of which are civilians.
Ukraine still has control over the city in the northeast of Kyiv, Chernihiv, but Russian forces have managed to bypass the city as they headed south, according to British defense intelligence. Additionally, satellite images showed a large, 3.25-mile long deployment of forces in a convoy northeast of Ivankiv, moving in the direction of Kyiv approximately 40 miles to the south. The convoy contains fuel, logistics and armoured vehicles.
Russian forces have been making progress westward, according to the military intelligence group Rochan Consulting, and are believed to be about 150km east of Kyiv on Saturday night and likely to advance further.
On Saturday, heavy street fighting broke out in Kyiv. According to Al Jazeera, Ukrainian officials reported success in fending off assaults, but fighting persisted near the capital. Clashes reported on the edge of the city of nearly three million people suggested that small Russian units were exploring Ukrainian defences to clear a path for the main forces.
Street clashes followed Russian strikes that pummelled bridges, schools and apartment buildings. A missile that struck a residential building in Kyiv on Saturday did not kill anyone, an adviser to the interior minister said but confirms Russians’ shelling of civilian sites. It is believed that at least 40 civilian infrastructures have been hit.
Capital’s mayor Vitali Klitschko has begged people to seek refuge in underground shelters, stay away from windows, and take precautions to avoid flying debris or bullets.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged Ukrainian citizens to defend the country and said that weapons would be given to anyone coming forward. As a result, 18,000 guns with ammunition have been distributed to reservists in the Kyiv region alone and Kyiv residents have been told to make petrol bombs to repel the Russian attacks.