Ukrainian military forces are continuing to offer “strong resistance” to Russian forces attempting to seize cities on the second day of Vladimir Putin’s invasion, according to Western sources.
Russian tank units which have entered Ukraine from multiple directions appear to be attempting to encircle capital Kyiv, and there are fears that a bloody and protracted battle for the city may develop with use of indiscriminate violence from the invading forces.
After vilification of leading figures of the Ukrainian government as “Nazis” by the Russian president, th
ere is serious concern that individuals such as Volodymyr Zelensky are now targets for special forces infiltrating the city.
There are indications of the continued operation of Ukrainian air defenses against Russian jets, in a sign that Putin’s key objective of obtaining total dominance of the skies on day one has failed.
Western officials are increasingly confident that the Russian mission is falling behind on its timetable for the invasion, with Putin’s forces still largely confined to rural areas while Ukraine concentrates its troops in urban areas in order to mount a determined defense against the expected assault.
The UK’s chief of defense intelligence Lt-Gen James Hockenhull told reporters: “Russian forces continue to advance on two axes towards Kyiv. Their objective is to encircle the capital, to secure control of the population and change the regime.
“Russia continues to conduct strikes across Ukraine. Overnight, Russia launched a concerted series of strikes on targets in Kyiv. Rocket launchers have been employed in Chernihiv.
“Ukrainian armed forces continue to offer strong resistance focusing on the defense of key cities throughout Ukraine.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.