Battle for Kyiv Isn’t Over As U.K. Intelligence Predicts “Heavy Fighting” In Coming Days – On Thursday, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence said that intelligence suggests that heavy fighting will continue in the suburbs surrounding the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv in the coming days.
Despite Russia’s claims that troops are withdrawing from Kyiv, allegedly with a view to making negotiations between Ukraine and Russia more achievable, British intelligence believes that shelling and missile strikes in the region have continued.
“Despite Russian statements indicating an intended reduction of military activity around Chernihiv, significant Russian shelling and missile strikes have continued,” a statement from the British Department of Defence reads.
“Russian forces continue to hold positions to the east and west of Kyiv despite the withdrawal of a limited number of units,” a tweet reads. “Heavy fighting will likely take place in the suburbs of the city in coming days.”
While shooting and shelling are likely to continue in the coming days, however, it does not necessarily mean that the conflict in Kyiv is over. As Russian troops have slowly withdrawn from Kyiv and its surrounding suburbs – roughly 20% of troops, according to the Pentagon – Russian forces have continued to bombard residential buildings and streets as they retreat.
On Wednesday, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby confirmed that some troops have begun leaving the area.
“We have seen over the last 24 hours the repositioning of a small percentage of the troops and the battalion tactical groups that Russia had arrayed against Kyiv,” Kirby said.
Shelling and conflict will likely continue, but troops appear to be moving north to the Belarusian border, where they are resupplied and sent to the eastern regions of Ukraine.
Russian Troops Almost Entirely Control Ukraine’s Eastern Border
In an additional update from the U.K. Ministry of Defense, the extent of Russia’s control over the eastern borders of Ukraine was shown in a graphic format.
Despite Russian troops struggling to take control of Kyiv in the west, Russian forces have successfully created a land bridge between the Crimean Peninsula to the eastern region of Donbas. The heavily bombarded cities of Melitopol, Mariupol, Berdyansk, and Volnovkha have been the targets of Russian strikes since the beginning of the invasion and are fully controlled by the Russians, with just two small contested regions to the north-east of Melitopol.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.