Russian column advancing on Kyiv ‘delayed by staunch resistance and mechanical breakdown’, MoD says

An armored Russian convoy of military vehicles advancing on Kyiv has been delayed by “staunch Ukrainian resistance”, mechanical breakdown and congestions, the Ministry of Defense has claimed.

In an intelligence update posted on Thursday, the ministry said the main body of tanks and military hardware — reported to be more than 40 miles long — had made “little discernible progress in over three days”.

It comes as the Kremlin said 498 Russian troops had been killed in the invasion — the first official figure provided by Vladimir Putin’s regime and significantly lower than the death toll reported by Ukrainian authorities.

The MoD stressed: “The Russian defense ministry has been forced to admit that 498 Russian soldiers have already been killed and 1,597 wounded in Putin’s war.

“The actual number of those killed and wounded will almost certainly be considerably higher and will continue to rise.”

They added: “Despite heavy Russian shelling, the cities of Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Mariupol remain in Ukrainian hands. Some Russian forces have entered the city of Kherson but the military situation remains unclear.”

Speaking on Sky News, the security minister, Damian Hinds, also said the Russian military was a “ruthless invading forces” which poses a danger immediately to Ukraine, but also to “wider Europe and the world”.

The places Ukrainian refugees are seeking shelter

(Press Association Images)

“The bravery, the tenacity of Ukraine, my God, we have all been taken aback and it is so important we do everything we can to support them in what they are doing and make sure – and this is where the sanctions, we’ve got the Economic Crime Bill, transparency and enforcement coming through on Monday in Parliament.

“It is why all these things are so important, why we absolutely need to make the regime hurt.”

It also emerged on Thursday that the International Criminal Court (ICC) began an investigation of war crimes in Ukraine after Britain and 37 allies referred the country over what Boris Johnson described as “abhorrent” attacks during the invasion, which is now in its seventh day .

For the first time on Wednesday, the UK explicitly accused Mr Putin of war crimes, with Downing Street claiming “horrific acts” were occurring on an almost hourly basis as population centers are targeted.

At prime minister’s questions, Mr Johnson said: “Putin has seriously miscalculated; in his abhorrent assault on a sovereign nation, he has underestimated the extraordinary strength of the Ukrainian people and the unity and resolve of the free world in standing up to his barbarism. ”

Damage by Russian shelling in Ukraine’s second-biggest city Kharkiv, 2 March 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

He added: “What we have already seen from Vladimir Putin’s regime in the use of the munitions that they have already been dropping on innocent civilians, in my view, already fully qualifies as a war crime.”

According to the UN refugee agency, one million people have now fled Ukraine – making it the swiftest exodus of refugees this century. The tally from UNHCR amounts to more than 2 per cent of Ukraine’s population on the move in under a week.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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