According to U.S. defense officials on Sunday, Russia has launched over 320 missiles against Ukrainian targets. More than two-thirds of the 200,000 Russian forces that had amassed on Ukraine’s border before the war are now taking an active part in the invasion and are located within Ukraine.
However, Russian troops have failed to capture any major cities, such as the capital Kyiv or the second-largest city Kharkiv.
“We continue to observe this invasion along those same three main axes that we talked about, south to north, north central to south, north east to south. We also continue to see indications of viable Ukrainian resistance. We continue to believe, based on what we have observed that this resistance is greater than what the Russians expected and we have indications that the Russians are increasingly frustrated by their lack of momentum over the last 24 hours particularly in the north parts of Ukraine,” a U.S. defense official had said on Saturday.
Although the Russian military has been undoubtedly surprised by Ukraine’s fierce resistance and the defensive capabilities of the Ukrainian military, Russian military leaders and their troops will soon adjust to the realities on the ground. That, coupled with the superiority of the Russian military, means that sooner or later, Moscow will prevail in the conventional part of the war.
Kyiv Braces For A Siege
From the start, Kyiv has been the primary target of the invading Russian forces. If the Kremlin could decapitate the Ukrainian leadership, Russian President Vladimir Putin would have the opportunity to place a puppet regime and avoid a protracted guerilla war in the forests and cities of Ukraine.
As a result, Russian forces striking from Belarus in the north went straight towards Kyiv. However, they have been stopped on the outskirts of the city.
According to a senior advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Russian forces have completely stopped their advance toward Kyiv from some directions, with some Russian units even withdrawing.
But satellite imagery indicates that another large column of Russian tanks, armored personnel carriers, and troops is heading toward the Ukrainian capital. Thus far, Russian troops have been careful to avoid engaging civilian targets—scores of civilians have been killed, nonetheless—in an apparent attempt to not turn the Ukrainian population against them. But footage from the ground has shown that the average Ukrainian is ready to fight for his and her country and oppose the Russian invaders.
Ukraine has agreed to talk with Russia but with no pre-conditions.
1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.