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Ukraine’s Nightmare Has Arrived: Russia Could Soon Destroy Kyiv

Kyiv
Russian T-72 tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

The massive 40-mile long Russian column that has been in static position north of Kyiv since Day 5 of the war has finally begun to deploy.

Satellite images from Maxar Technologies reported that after weather conditions cleared after several days of cloud cover, the Russian column has “largely dispersed and redeployed,” in a released statement. 

Maxar’s satellite photos were taken shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, Ukraine time, and showed that some elements of the convoy have “repositioned” into forests and treelined areas near Lubyanka, about 30 miles northeast of Kyiv, as they appear to be getting into position for an assault on Kyiv. 

Many of the troops redeployed by the Russian military seem to be in the vicinity of the Antonov International Airport, which lies between Lubyanka and Kyiv. The convoy was known to have reached that airport as of Feb. 28. The airport was the scene of bloody fighting in the early hours of the war when Russian airborne troops tried to seize the airport to use as a means to funnel troops deep behind Ukrainian defenses and move on Kyiv. 

The Russian forces are setting up their artillery and armored forces for a big push into the capital. However, their large armored columns are still road-bound and Ukrainian forces continue to take a heavy toll on them in ambushes and drone strikes. One Russian tank column was taken under fire in Brovary northeast of Kyiv. 

Russian forces are trying to encircle the city and are launching large missile and airstrikes into the center of residential areas of Kyiv that are taking a toll on civilian infrastructure as well as causing a large number of casualties. The long column which was stationary due to logistical issues seems to have finally deployed as Russian commanders have regrouped and tweaked their battle plans. 

Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv and former champion boxer said that half of the city’s population has fled, adding that the city “has been transformed into a fortress. Every street, every building, every checkpoint has been fortified.”

Russia To Bring In 16,000 Foreign Fighters From the Middle East:

With Russian casualties mounting, the state-run Russian media has sanitized the reports coming from Ukraine. But those falsehoods spread by Kremlin-controlled media outlets can’t hide the truth for long. 

And with an urban battle coming in Kyiv, the toll for both Russians and Ukrainians is bound to be very high. The Russians are bringing in 16,000 foreign fighters from the Middle East, many of whom have experience fighting in cities, especially in Syria. 

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the volunteers from the Middle East would fight alongside Russian-backed forces in the breakaway Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, without mentioning the cities of Kyiv or Kharkiv where urban combat is expected. President Putin reiterated the same line of usage for the fighters.

“If you see that there are these people who want of their own accord, not for money, to come to help the people living in Donbas, then we need to give them what they want and help them get to the conflict zone,” Putin said

However, Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, accused Russia of drawing on forces of “ex-ISIS fighters for use against civilians.”

“The recruitment of ISIS and Russian propaganda statements about chemical weapons indicate an intention to implement the Syrian scenario,” Podolyak tweeted, in reference to Russia’s intervention in the conflict in Syria, whose leader, Bashar al-Assad, is a Putin ally.

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.

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Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 1945, he covers the NFL for PatsFans.com and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.