The huge Russian column advancing on Kyiv with tanks and heavy weaponry remains stalled outside the Ukraine capital and has made “little discernible progress in over three days”, the UK Ministry of Defense said.
The armored column threatening Kyiv is bogged down around 30km (19 miles) from the center of the city, having been slowed by Ukrainian resistance, mechanical breakdown and congestion, with vehicles becoming stuck in mud and shortages of food, water and fuel.
“The main body of the large Russian column advancing on Kyiv remains over 30km from the center of the city having been delayed by staunch Ukrainian resistance, mechanical breakdown and congestion,” the MoD said in an intelligence update.
“The column has made little discernible progress in over three days.
An unnamed US defense official briefing on the situation near Kyiv concurred, saying the 40-mile-long Russian column containing hundreds of tanks and other vehicles still appeared to be roughly 25km from the city and had barely gained any ground in days.
Satellite imagery provided by Maxar showed Russia was sending further columns of troops and vehicles to strengthen its advances on key cities including Kyiv.
In Borodyanka, a small town 60 km, northwest of Kyiv, locals had repelled a Russian assault, and Reuters reported that burnt out hulks of destroyed Russian armor were scattered on a road.
“They started shooting from their APCs towards the park in front of the post office,” a man sheltering with his family told the news agency, referring to a Russian armored personnel carrier.
“Then those bastards started the tank and started shooting into the supermarket which was already burned. It caught fire again.
“An old man ran outside like crazy, with big round eyes, and said ‘give me a Molotov cocktail! I just set their APC on fire!…Give me some petrol, we’ll make a Molotov cocktail and burn the tank !’.”
Overnight, Ukrainian forces were said to have cut off the convoy from the west and had been able to attack it from the air.
War strategists have warned that Vladimir Putin’s goal is to encircle Kyiv in the hope that the Ukrainian military is forced to surrender.
Brig Gen Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency, told the Military Times website that his forces were “striking the enemy’s columns”.
“We burn many columns of the enemy,” he said, using Su-24 and Su-25 fighter jets and other ground-based weapons.
Elsewhere, Russian forces continued to make slow but steady gains, capturing the southern city of Kherson and bringing heavy fighting to the outskirts of another strategic port, Mariupol.
Shelling on Thursday hit the northern city of Chernihiv, where civilian deaths have been reported, and Russian forces have also been bombarding the country’s second-biggest city, Kharkiv.