KYIV, Ukraine – The Ukrainian army, manned by soldiers and soldiers, waged fierce, close-quarters battles on Saturday to maintain control of the capital Kyiv and other cities around the country as protests Fierce street fighting broke out on the third day of the Russian invasion.
A day after Ukrainian soldiers managed to thwart an attack on the capital by blowing up bridges and setting up armed checkpoints, gunfire and explosions could be heard across Kyiv, including at its center, Maidan square, where Ukrainian protests led to the overthrow of a pro-Moscow government in 2014.
Russian forces on Saturday concentrated on three cities: Kyiv to the north, Kharkiv to the northeast and Kherson to the south.
Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a video on Saturday that the army, supported by civilians armed with rifles and muskets, had “successfully fended off and repelled the attackers’ attacks. enemies” across the country.
“War continues in many cities and counties in our state, but we know what we are protecting – our country, our land, the future of our children,” he said. “Kyiv and the key cities around the capital are all controlled by our military. The occupiers want to blockade the center of our state and put their puppets here, as in Donetsk. We broke their plans.”
According to the spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin said on Saturday afternoon, as both sides tried to shape perceptions of how the fighting unfolded, the Kremlin said the Russian attack was aimed at Kyiv continues to be “in line with the operational plan”.
Mr. Peskov said that the operation had been paused to allow the Ukrainian government to review the peace talks, but that New York Times reporters in Kyiv heard the shelling that continued throughout Friday night, and On Saturday morning, a civilian apartment complex on the southwestern edge of Kyiv was hit by a rocket, injuring at least six people, according to Ukraine’s emergency services.
The majority of the more than 150,000 Russian forces concentrated on the Ukrainian border are currently fighting domestically, but they are “increasingly frustrated by a lack of motivation” as they face stiff Ukrainian resistance, especially is in the north of the country, a senior Pentagon official said Saturday.
The official said that despite its combat strength, the Russian army is not in control of any city, even though they are closing in on Kyiv and other major urban centers. Nor did Russian warplanes fully control the skies over Ukraine, as Ukrainian warplanes and air defenses continued to engage Russian forces.
However, Russia’s offensive from the air, land, and sea was swift and extremely agile, and despite Ukrainian resistance, especially around Kyiv and Kharkiv, most analysts Western analysts assume that the Ukrainian military will not succumb to the larger and more technologically advanced Russian army. in the coming days.
Pentagon review echoed by British Ministry of DefenseThe pace of Russia’s advance has “temporarily likely slowed down due to acute logistical difficulties and strong Ukrainian resistance,” said a statement. It said that overnight clashes in Kyiv may involve “limited numbers of pre-positioned Russian sabotage groups” and that Russia’s ultimate aim is to capture the capital.
Ukraine’s Health Minister, Viktor Lyashko, said on Saturday that 198 people, including three children, had been killed since the start of the Russian offensive on Thursday. Another 1,115 people, including 33 children, were injured, he said.
The fighting comes as tens of thousands of refugees continue to flee the country and the US and its European allies try to bolster Ukraine’s forces by sending missiles, medical equipment and helmets.
The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, announced a curfew starting from 5 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday, and warned that any civilian on the street during that time “will be considered a members of enemy reconnaissance and sabotage groups”.
Overnight fighting in Kyiv scattered glass shards, metal fragments and shell casings hundreds of yards across the road, near a bloody footprint. At the site of the fighting with Russian vehicles and possibly infantry, which was waged along the central road, Victory Prospect, Ukrainian soldiers dug trenches on Saturday.
Mr Klitschko said that service has been suspended on the metro system, where stations will act as round-the-clock shelters. In Kyiv and across Ukraine, people gathered in bomb shelters, lined up at bank machines and stocked up on essentials amid the sirens of air raids.
In the port city of Odessa, on the Black Sea, a missile hit the Japanese cargo ship Namura Queen late Friday, injuring a crew member and damaging the ship and its owner. said. Shipping company Nissen Kaiun said the ship had docked at the port of Odessa to load grain and would now head to Turkey.
As Ukraine struggles to hold back the Russian military, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Saturday that the United States has authorized an additional $350 million to support Ukraine’s defense, bringing the total amount of security assistance the United States has provided. committed to Ukraine. last year to more than 1 billion dollars.
The package will include “further lethal defense support to help Ukraine address the armor, air and other threats facing the country,” Blinken said in a statement. statement.
The Netherlands says it will provide 200 Stinger air defense systems. Greece said it would provide thousands of medical masks, gloves and protective clothing, as well as defibrillators and portable ventilators.
There is growing support for banning Russia from SWIFT, the international banking system that connects more than 11,000 financial institutions around the world. Ukraine’s claim was supported by Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Great Britain, France, Hungary and Italy.
However, efforts to get Russia and Ukraine involved in the talks show no sign of progress, although some countries continue to protest.
According to Erdogan’s office, Turkey is pursuing a ceasefire as soon as possible to prevent further loss of life and property to Ukraine, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Zelensky in a phone call. on Saturday, according to Mr. Erdogan’s office.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also called for an end to Russia’s “military activities” in a phone call with his Russian counterpart, Sergey V. Lavrov, on Saturday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. Ky said.
Mr. Cavusoglu said that it was not in anyone’s interest to escalate the conflict, and reiterated his country’s readiness to hold talks.
Understanding Russia’s Attack on Ukraine
What is the root cause of this invasion? Russia considers Ukraine to be inside its natural sphere of influence, and it became irritated by Ukraine’s proximity to the West and the prospect of it joining NATO or the European Union. Although Ukraine is also not included in this category, it receives financial and military aid from the United States and Europe.
The Biden administration on Friday said Russia was never serious about finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis and that weeks of back and forth between Washington and Moscow had turned into a sham as the Kremlin prepared for war.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a news conference: “Moscow is pretending to be diplomatic. “It seems pretty clear now that Russia was not and was not interested in genuine diplomacy.”
The fighting has created a growing humanitarian crisis, the Polish government says, with at least 100,000 Ukrainians entering Poland since Thursday, the Polish government said, and thousands more. Others crossed the border into Romania and Moldova to escape the forces that were dividing their countries.
Ukrainian women and children poured into eastern Poland on Friday, with mothers carrying infants and children by the hand through the border crossing in Korczowa, where they were greeted by Polish volunteers delivering food and diapers.
Natalia Khukar, 32, who arrived with her two sons, Maxim, 8, and Oleh, 5, cursed at Russian President Vladimir Putin as she waited for a roadside relative to pick up her family.
“I have no words to describe what Putin is doing,” she said, tears welling in her eyes. “An ordinary person would never do what Putin did. He must have gone mad.”
Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca of Romania says that at least 19,000 people from Ukraine have entered his country since the fighting began. About 11,000 people remain in Romania and 40 have applied for asylum, he said.
Mr. Ciuca visited a busy border crossing, Siret, on Friday night as well as a nearby stadium that could serve as a makeshift refugee camp as the number of arrivals grew.
Mr Ciuca, a retired general, said in a statement: “I cannot expect to encounter such situations again. He denounced the anguish of “those affected by the horrors of war.”
While thousands of people have fled the country, others with no military training or military training have used weapons distributed by the Ukrainian government in a frantic attempt to support the army. .
Arsan, 35, owner of a coffee shop in Lviv, Ukraine, is one such volunteer.
Just three days ago, he was exercising and getting ready for work when his wife told him that the country was at war. On Saturday mornings, he learned to make Molotov cocktails and spot fluorescent missile targets on Russian-located buildings, while also joining a combat-ready citizen brigade.
“We can learn how to shoot because we don’t know how this situation will develop,” he said.
Asked if the military could stop Russia’s attack on Kyiv, Arsan said that every night was terrible but he believed they would win.
“Ukraine’s military is doing very well,” he said. “They are superhumans.”
In Russia, where street protests have been met with force and arrest by police, Moscow has escalated its crackdown on freedom of expression.
The Kremlin’s communications regulator has slowed access to Facebook and warned 10 independent Russian news outlets that their websites could be blocked. Their offense: publishing articles “in which the operation being carried out is called an attack, an invasion, or a declaration of war.”
In response, Facebook and Twitter blocked Russian state media from running ads on their platforms.
Valerie Hopkins reported from Kyiv, Eric Schmitt from Washington and Michael Levenson from New York. Report contributed by Andrew Higgins from Korczowa, Poland; Kit Gillette from Bucharest, Romania; Andrew E. Kramer from Kyiv; and Marc Santora from Lviv, Ukraine.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/26/world/europe/russia-ukraine-invasion-kyiv-kharkiv-kherson.html Russia’s advances to three cities are facing fierce resistance