Ukraine DESTROYS Russian convoy as Zelensky’s troops derail Kremlin’s push to capture Kyiv: Putin’s army meets fierce resistance on the streets as Ukraine says it has shot down plane carrying troops and repelled attack on army base
- Dramatic video shows a destroyed Russian convoy with Z-markings near Kherson in southern Ukraine
- Two Russian military transport planes ‘carrying paratroopers’, a fighter jet and helicopter were downed
- Kremlin troops are pressing toward Ukraine’s capital but it is unclear how far they have advanced
- Russia’s Interfax news agency claimed Moscow had captured the southeastern city of Melitopol
Dramatic video shows a destroyed Russian convoy with Z-markings in southern Ukraine as Kyiv’s army puts up a fierce resistance to Vladimir Putin’s advancing forces on the third day of the Kremlin’s illegal war against the European nation.
Images show a scene of carnage near Kherson in the south of the besieged country, while unverified video appears to show what is claimed to be aircraft crashing to the ground in Zhytomyr region after it was allegedly shot down.
Volodmyr Zelensky claimed that Ukraine’s army was in control of the capital and had successfully repelled Moscow’s attacks after a brutal night of fighting which saw two Russian military transport planes, a fighter jet and helicopter downed.
Putin’s troops have continued their march on Ukraine’s capital, with Britain’s defence ministry saying the bulk of those involved in the advance were now 19 miles from the city centre.
Russia’s Interfax news agency claimed Moscow had captured the southeastern city of Melitopol. Ukrainian officials were not immediately available to comment on the fate of Melitopol. If the Interfax report about Melitopol, which cited Russia’s defence ministry, is confirmed, it would be the first significant population centre that the Kremlin has seized.
Britain’s armed forces minister James Heappey cast doubt on the report, saying the city of some 150,000 people was still in Ukrainian hands and that fighting in the capital was so far confined to ‘very isolated pockets of Russian special forces and paratroopers’ and that ‘the main armoured columns approaching Kyiv are still some way off’.
The Ukrainian health minister said 198 people have been killed and more than 1,000 wounded in the Russian offensive. Viktor Lyashko said there were three children among those killed. His statement was unclear whether the casualties included military and civilians.
He said another 1,115 people, including 33 children, were wounded in the Russian invasion. Russian authorities released no casualty figures.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitchsko said a missile hit a high-rise building on the city’s southwestern outskirts. He posted an image showing a gaping hold in one side of the building that ravaged apartments on several floors. Firefighters said at least six civilians were injured, and 80 were evacuated.
Ukraine’s military is far inferior to its Russian counterpart with an air defence system and air force dating back to the Soviet era. Few expect Kyiv to emerge victorious from what is almost certain to be a prolonged, bloody and vicious war.
Dramatic video shows a destroyed Russian convoy with Z-markings near Kherson in southern Ukraine
Unverified video appears to show what is claimed to be aircraft crashing to the ground in Zhytomyr region
Ukrainian service members look for unexploded shells after a fighting with Russian raiding group in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in the morning of February 26, 2022, according to Ukrainian service personnel at the scene
Ukrainians were desperately trying to hold off the Russian invasion in the early hours of Saturday, at the end of a long night that saw Vladimir Putin’s forces advance from the north, south and west
Kyiv’s military is far inferior to its Russian counterpart with an air defence system and air force dating back to the Soviet era. Though few expect Ukraine to emerge victorious from what is almost certain to be a prolonged, bloody, and vicious war, Kyiv’s forces have so far managed to inflict heavy Russian losses
HELICOPTERS, JETS AND PLANES
The mayor of a city south of the Ukrainian capital claimed that the country’s military has fended off a Russian attempt to take control of a military air base.
Natalia Balansynovych, the mayor of Vasylkiv, about 25 miles south of Kyiv, said on Saturday that Russian airborne forces landed near the city overnight and tried to seize the base. She said fierce fighting also raged on Vasylkiv’s central street.
She said that Ukrainian forces repelled the Russian attacks, and that the situation is now calm. Balansynovych claimed there were heavy casualties, but didn’t give any numbers.
At around 3am on Saturday, fighting between Russia and Ukraine broke out at Vasylkiv, which is home to a Cold War-era base.
Ukraine’s military claimed a Russian IL-76 military transporter planer was brought down, reportedly with 150 paratroopers on board. Sources in the city then claimed that Russian soldiers, allegedly dressed as Ukrainian police, ambushed a checkpoint.
Kyiv: Fierce fighting erupts in capital after a Russian transport plane carrying ‘150 paratroopers’ was shot down
Smoke and flames are seen billowing over Kyiv’s Peremohy Avenue in the west of the city, near the zoo, early Saturday
Significant explosions were seen from Beresteiska metro station in the west of Kyiv
Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, is seen addressing the nation on Friday night
Heavy fighting ensued in Vasylkiv, as Putin’s forces tried to gain a foothold in the south from which to launch their attack on Kyiv.
At around 4am, Ukraine’s Defence Ministry claimed ‘two enemy targets were shot down’ – identifying them as a Russian SU-25 helicopter and a military bomber – near the separatist zone in the east.
At around 4am, a second Russian military transport plane was shot down near Bila Tserkva, 50 miles south of Kyiv, according to two American officials with direct knowledge of conditions on the ground in Ukraine. The Russian military did not comment on either plane.
Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) denied a report earlier on Saturday that Russian helicopters had landed in the Lviv region, a development that would have signalled a widening of the theatre of Moscow’s invasion.
The mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi, said Russia had landed three helicopters near the city of Brody in the western Lviv region and that Ukrainian forces had repelled the attack.
The SBU said the information was false and that no such landing had taken place. It said a Ukrainian helicopter had done a reconnaissance flight in the area.
‘We ask residents to remain calm!’, the SBU said in a statement posted on Facebook.
Sadovyi’s office declined to comment and the SBU declined further comment. The Lviv regional administration said that footage circulating on social media of a helicopter firing rockets in the Lviv region was Ukrainian, not Russian.
Ukrainian soldiers walk past debris of a burning military truck on a street in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday morning
Ukrainian service members look for and collect unexploded shells after a fighting with Russian raiding group in Kyiv
Earlier, small arms fire and explosions were heard in the capital’s northern district Obolonsky as what appeared to be an advance party of Russia’s invasion force left a trail of destruction.
Ukrainian forces reported fighting with Russian armoured units in two locations between 40-80 kilometres north of Kyiv.
Ukraine’s military claimed Russia had ‘attacked one of the military units on Victory Avenue in Kyiv’ but that the assault had been ‘repulsed’. It also reported another incident northwest of the capital.
Kyiv said 137 people, including soldiers and civilians, have been killed during the fighting, and claimed that 2,800 Russian service personnel have died.
An adviser to Ukraine’s president says that fighting is raging in the capital and in the country’s south, and that the Ukrainian military is successfully fending off Russian assaults.
Russian forces were also focusing on the country’s south, where intense fighting is underway in Kherson just north of Crimea, and in the Black Sea ports of Mykolaiv, Odesa and around Mariupol, it was claimed.
A view shows an apartment building damaged by recent shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine on Saturday morning
Firefighters extinguish fire in a high-rise apartment block which was hit by recent shelling in Kyiv on Saturday
A high-rise apartment block in Kyiv was hit by a devastating missile this morning as fighting continues to rage in the capital between Russian attackers and Ukrainian forces
Mykhailo Podolyak said that Russia considers it a priority to seize the south, but it has failed to make any significant gains.
Britain claimed that Russian forces have not captured the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Melitopol and armoured columns advancing on the capital Kyiv have been held up by Ukrainian resistance.
Armed forces minister James Heappey said on Saturday it was the British assessment that Russia had so far failed to capture any of its day one targets for its invasion of Ukraine, which began on Thursday.
‘Even Melitopol, which the Russians are claiming to have taken but we can’t see anything to substantiate that, are all still in Ukrainian hands,’ Heappey told BBC radio.
‘The fighting … reported on the outskirts of Kyiv overnight, we understand to just be Russian special forces and pockets of paratroopers. The reality is that the armoured columns that were coming down from Belarus and the north that were going to encircle Kyiv are still some way north because they’ve been held up by this incredible Ukrainian resistance.’
A Ukranian fireman kneels by a damaged vehicle, at the site of a fighting with Russian troops after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 26, 2022
A Ukrainian servicemen walk by a damaged vehicle, at the site of a fighting with Russian troops, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Kyiv, February 26, 2022
Kyiv officials are warning residents that street fighting is underway against Russian forces, and they are urging people to seek shelter.
The warning issued Saturday advised residents to remain in shelters, to avoid going near windows or on balconies, and to take precautions against being hit by debris or bullets.
The Ukrainian military said a battle was underway near a military unit to the west of the city center.
A rescue worker says at least six civilians were injured by a rocket that hit a high-rise apartment building on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital.
Petro Prokopov, a firefighter who was taking part in rescue efforts, said the building on the southwestern edge of Kyiv near Zhuliany airport was hit between 16 and 21 floors on Saturday. He said at least six people were injured and apartments on two floors were gutted by fire. Emergency responders have evacuated 80 people.
Soldiers tasked with defending Kyiv from advancing Russian troops take up positions underneath a highway into the city
Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko posted an image showing a gaping hole on one side of the apartment building.
AFP saw a dead man in civilian clothes lying sprawled on the pavement as nearby medics rushed to help another man whose car was crushed by an armoured vehicle.
Separately, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry said a Russian missile was shot down before dawn Saturday as it headed for the dam of the sprawling water reservoir that serves Kyiv.
‘If the dam is destroyed, the flooding will cause catastrophic casualties and losses – including flooding of residential areas of Kyiv and its suburbs,’ the ministry said.
IS RUSSIA WINNING THE WAR?
Though few doubt that Russia will win the war with Ukraine, Western officials believe that Putin’s assault and attempted seizure of Kyiv has become bogged down.
While Russian special forces have reached the suburbs of Kyiv, the bulk of Moscow’s heavy armour is believed to be still more than 30 miles away from the capital.
Britain claimed that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been slowed by strong Ukrainian resistance.
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said fighting in Kyiv was so far confined to ‘very isolated pockets of Russian special forces and paratroopers’. He added that ‘the main armored columns approaching Kyiv are still some way off’.
Heappey said: ‘It looks like the Russian plan is nowhere near running to schedule. I think that will be a great cause of concern for President Putin and rather points to the fact that there was a lot of hubris in the Russian plan and that he may be awfully advised.’
However, Western officials fear that Putin could resort to high-power thermobaric weapons – dubbed the ‘father of all bombs’ that vaporize bodies and crush internal organs – as brave Ukrainians resist his attempts to take control of Kyiv.
Putin gives comments to the media after a ceremony to sign a declaration on allied cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan at Moscow’s Kremlin, February 22, 2022
A thermobaric bomb explosion during the Caucasus 2016 strategic drills at Opuk range of Russia’s Southern Military District
Thermobaric weapons – also known as vacuum bombs – are high-powered explosive that use the atmosphere itself as part of the explosion. They are among the most powerful non-nuclear weapons ever developed. Thermobaric weapons were developed by both the US and the Soviet Union in the 1960s
Thermobaric weapons – also known as vacuum bombs – are high-powered explosive that use the atmosphere itself as part of the explosion. They are among the most powerful non-nuclear weapons ever developed.
A thermobaric bomb dropped by the US on Taliban in Afghanistan in 2017 weighed 21,600 pounds and left a crater more than 1,000ft wide after it exploded six feet above the ground.
Thermobaric weapons were developed by both the US and the Soviet Union in the 1960s. In 2007, Russia detonated the largest thermobaric weapon ever made, which created an explosion equivalent to 39.9 tons. The US version of the weapon reportedly costs over $16million each.
The official said: ‘My fear would be that if they don’t meet their timescale and objectives they would be indiscriminate in their use of violence.
‘They don’t adhere to the same principles of necessity and proportionality and rule of law that Western forces do.’
Source: Read Full Article