Monday Mar 07, 2022
KYIV: Russian troops have reached the suburbs of the capital city Kyiv, Irpin and Buja suburbs and captured the power station, threatening the capital city and furling confusion and anxiety among those who remain in the capital, increasing the outflow of those trying to flee with whatever they can come up with.
The Russian army has moved further near the capital city and is now extremely close to the capital city, stationed at Irpin, Buja and other Kyiv suburbs, planning their next strategy.
Expecting the inevitable Russian army thrust into Kyiv, the Ukraine army has turned the city into a garrison, with military check posts set up on almost all the thoroughfares. With looming war, markets are closed, sirens are being blared and people are keeping them indoors and in the shelters with rising desperation.
Ukraine has already distributed weapons to arm the local resistance and volunteers can be seen carrying guns. An officer of the Ukrainian army said the locals are expected to strongly resist the invading Russian army.
The number of locals trying to leave the city and the country is increasing every minute under the dread and horror of war. Panic was seen at the central station from where people were seen taking buses and trains towards the western borders to head for Hungary, Romania, Poland and Moldova.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees 1,534,792 refugees have fled by 1335 GMT, almost 166,000 more than the previous count on Saturday. Furthermore, four million people may seek to leave the country to escape the war, the UN data showed.
On the eleventh day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Sunday, Russian forces pressed a siege of the key southern port of Mariupol and destroyed an airport in the west of the country.
The capital Kyiv remains under Ukrainian control as does Kharkiv in the east, with the overall picture of the Russian ground advance little changed over the last 24 hours in the face of fierce Ukrainian resistance.
There has been heavy fighting in the vicinity of Hostomel. Ukrainian forces also retain control of the northern town of Chernihiv where there have been heavy civilian casualties in recent days.
Russia has besieged the strategic southern city of Mariupol and the International Committee of the Red Cross said a new attempt to evacuate an estimated 200,000 civilians from the city had failed.
Taking the city would give Russia a chance to link forces pushing north from the annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea with their forces from the east.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainians have blown up bridges on the western flank of the Ukrainian capital in a desperate bid to slow the Russian tanks.
The one still spanning a stream in the town of Bilogorodka leads to leafy villages that were once filled with summer cottages and are now a war zone. The historic city of Kyiv would be effectively cut off from much of its western hinterland should the military receive the order to blow the bridge up.
"We will try to do everything possible to keep it standing," the former paratrooper told AFP on Sunday.
But the fighting is getting closer and the mood among the Ukrainians manning the barricades is turning morose. Russian warplanes have joined the ground forces and are bombing the surrounding villages and towns.
The flood of people fleeing for safety seems never-ending. And the rare hours of silence between the battles make the Ukrainian soldiers worry that the Russians are just reloading for an even more ferocious push.
Additional input from AFP
Originally published in The News