Updated Saturday, February 26, 2022 –
Moscow announces a total offensive while Kiev confines its citizens for fear of the resurgence of attacks
- Direct War Ukraine – Russia
- war in ukraine US increases military aid to Ukraine
The prospect of a swift and smooth Russian operation to bring Ukraine to its knees is fading.
Moscow announced a “expansion of the offensive” in all directions after a long night in which Russian and Ukrainian forces clashed with artillery on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital to no avail.
An adviser to the Ukrainian president confirmed that Russia’s attack on Kiev was not progressing and that so far some 3,500 Russian soldiers had been killed or wounded in Moscow’s attack on the Ukraine. “We are attacking the enemy around Kiev. The enemy is not moving for now,” Oleksiy Arestovych said. “We have resisted and are successfully repelling enemy attacks. The fight continues,” Zelensky said in a video message from the streets of Kiev posted on his social media.
In the center of the Ukrainian capital, despite everything, nervousness has skyrocketed. The authorities have confined some citizens that they should not even look out on the street if they do not want to be considered suspicious. From this Saturday the permanent curfew prevails until Monday morning at eight. Ukrainian security forces look for snipers on balconies, provocateurs on the streets, saboteurs near critical infrastructure. Fearing the resurgence of attacks, the mayor of Kiev indicated that all people who are on the street during the new established curfew period “will be considered as members of enemy groups.”
The city that a decade ago hosted a European Football Championship is preparing these days to a street to street battle where they will try to trip up the Russian giant. The subway system has been used as a shelter for citizens and the trains have stopped running, he said.
The Kremlin maintains that its troops are advancing again after Vladimir Putin himself ordered a pause on Friday due to the possibility of urgent talks that have not yet materialized. Kiev maintains that it is not true that Russia has stopped troop movements.
A Zelensky adviser denied that Kiev had refused to negotiate, but said that Russia had imposed unacceptable conditions. Moscow even wants Ukraine to recognize as legal the Russian annexation of its Crimean peninsula in 2014. Of course, it must renounce NATO and legalize the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk with the territories that the pro-Russians covet, giving away those that are held by Kiev.
During the hours before dawn on Saturday, heavy and frequent artillery fire could be heard and seen. During the day the Ukrainian army reported fighting in the Kiev neighborhood of Beresteiska, just seven kilometers from the historic center, where the headquarters of the main democratic institutions of this country are located. Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko said there was no significant Russian military presence in the capital, but saboteur groups were active. The troop buildup is about 90 kilometers from the center.
Authorities have urged citizens to help defend the city from advancing Russian forces, who will have unconventional help. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a close Putin ally, said Saturday that his fighters are also deployed in Ukraine. He said that the Russian forces could easily take Kiev and other big cities, but his task was to avoid loss of life.
“The sun has risen in Kiev. The shooting in my neighborhood stopped. I can hear birds. It’s like the end of a vampire movie,” Ukrainian diplomat Olexander Scherba tweeted at dawn: “Something tells me tonight was important. And the enemy will also remember this night.”
But Russia is preparing to harden its offensive. “Today, all units have been ordered to expand the offensive in all directions, in accordance with the plan of attack,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The US has increased its military aid to Kiev and Germany has changed its mind and is going to deliver a thousand anti-tank rocket launchers and 500 surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine. Stinger. The EU will provide logistical support to deliver the weapons provided by member states.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has asked the residents of Kiev to make Molotov cocktails to repel the invaders. Zelensky took to the streets to mobilize citizens and show that he has not fled.
Some families have fled to safety in shelters after Kiev began to suffer from Russian missile attacks on Thursday night. Others have decided to leave. The conflict could displace up to five million people abroadcalculate several UN agencies.
The Ukrainian Minister of Health gave a balance of victims since the beginning of the Russian invasion on Thursday. “Unfortunately, according to operational data, 198 people were killed by the invaders, including three children, and 1,115 were injured, including 33 children,” Minister Viktor Liashko said on Facebook.