The 40-mile long convoy of Russian troops heading for Kyiv from the north has been stalled due to fuel problems, while senior Russian military officials have the convoy regrouping while apparently changing their strategy as they meet heavier resistance than expected.
The Russians are moving to surround and pressure Kyiv as they want to remove the standing Ukrainian government and install a puppet regime that will be loyal to the Putin regime in Moscow. But there are numerous reports of Russian conscript soldiers surrendering without firing a shot, and abandoning their equipment.
The convoy is still reported in the same position that it was on Monday evening, about 17-18 miles north of Kyiv. A senior defense official told Military Times that the convoy is stalled for a number of reasons. “Obviously, the resistance that they’re facing, the fuel and sustainment problems that they’re having. We are also picking up signs that they’re having problems feeding their troops, that they’re not only running out of gas, but they are running out of food.”
Ukrainian Brigadier General Kyrylo Budanov told Military Times that the Ukrainian Air Force is using this halt to conduct airstrikes using Su-25 and Su-24 ground attack aircraft as well as artillery and missile attacks on the stalled convoy.
“We burn many columns of the enemy,” he said, adding that “my intelligence officers and agents are directing and calling the strikes.”
Russians Accused of Using Thermobaric Weapons, Surrounding Mariupol
Budanov added that the Russians had used thermobaric weapons as they have increased their bombing of civilian areas and infrastructure as they try to weaken Ukraine’s ability to resist.
While the Russian Ministry of Defense has repeatedly denied the targeting of civilian areas, the videos that keep surfacing from Kharkiv and Kyiv show the widespread and indiscriminate shelling of dense civilian areas and apartment buildings.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine’s resolve has not been lost, despite the bombing. “They wanted to destroy us so many times. They couldn’t. We’ve been through so much! And if someone thinks that, having overcome all this, Ukrainians will be frightened, broken, or surrender — he knows nothing about Ukraine, and he has nothing to do in Ukraine,” Zelensky said in his daily video to Ukrainian citizens. “We have nothing to lose but our own freedom.”
While Russian troops have entered the center of the city of Kherson in the south and have apparently taken the city, although Ukrainian authorities maintain that there is fighting still ongoing in the city of over 300,000. It would be the first major city captured by the Russians. Meanwhile, Russian forces have moved to encircle the port city of Mariupol. If they were to capture it, it would link Russian forces in the Crimea, with the separatist-held areas in the Donbas.
Putin Cracks Down On Free Speech Inside Russia
The Russian authoritarian regime of Vladimir Putin is moving toward removing any narrative that isn’t coming from the Kremlin. After their coverage of the war in Ukraine differed from the one-sided view being broadcast from the government-run sites, Echo Radio was removed from the air by the government.
Echo Radio was a rare liberal radio station that popped up in the euphoria of post-Soviet Union freedom. The Russian government blocked the Echo website and asked Google to remove the app from its sites, and took the station off the air for what it said was the spreading of “deliberately false information” about the war in Ukraine.
More from 1945:
The New York Times reported that the government also blocked the website of Dozhd, the country’s last remaining independent television channel. Fearing arrest by Russian security officials, the staff of Dozhd fled the country.
Russian lawmakers are expected to propose new draconian laws which will silence all reporting other than the official narrative of the fighting in Ukraine,
Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 19fortyfive.com, he has covered the NFL for PatsFans.com for more than 10 years and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.