After Chernobyl had been captured by Russian forces yesterday, a mere 81 miles from Kyiv, Russian forces are reportedly making assaults and being repelled before the Ukrainian capital where Ukrainian government leaders are based. The gov’t in Kyiv claims Chechen assassins are out to kill Zelensky, his family, and officials of his government.
Images shared by the Associated Press on Friday appeared to show Ukrainian forces taking up defensive positions around the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, as fighting with Russia intensified and entered a second day. https://t.co/Pxwij2MMfT pic.twitter.com/D7mquixzJJ
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 25, 2022
The invasion of Ukraine had advanced along three routes. The US had stated that the Russian advance was faster compared to initial predictions, according to an anonymous source cited by a report by USA Today. It should be recalled that some predictions said Kyiv would fall in the first 48 hours. Furthermore, Russian forces have already launched aerial attacks on Kyiv with cruise and ballistic missiles as per Adviser to the Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko.
In an attempt to slow down the Russian advance, Ukrainian troops had blown a bridge over Teteriv River amid reports of Kyiv’s international airport in Boryspil being leveled by missiles, both of which are just a few miles from the presidential office. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry also reported that Russian reconnaissance troops had managed to enter the Obolon district of northern Kyiv, which means they are a mere 6 miles from the city center where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the rest of the Ukrainian government operate.
Despite their best efforts, the Antonov airport, which is an hour away from Kyiv, had been captured after several attempts by Russia Air Assault forces and ground troops. In light of this, Ukrainian citizens were armed with weapons courtesy of the Ukrainian Armed Forces after Zelensky had imposed martial law and decreed that no Ukrainian male of military ages 18 to 60 was to leave the country. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense also appealed to its citizens via Facebook to make Molotov cocktails and hurl at Russian troops and inform the government of any Russian soldiers in their area.
Repeated if sporadic rocket strikes were reportedly heard in Ukraine’s capital by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in a scene that had been unheard of since World War II. In response to the attacks, Mayor Vitali Klitschko had stated that the Russians were trying to put Kyiv and Ukrainians on their knees.
His Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, amidst the attack, stated that the invasion was still necessary to demilitarize and de-nazify Ukraine and its leaders, which he described as a ‘Nazi cell.’ He further stated that Russia was doing Ukraine a favor as it was reportedly “liberated from this burden, Ukrainians will have the chance to freely choose their future.”
Amidst all the fighting and the explosions, many fear that the Russian army advancing to Ukraine is out to kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In an announcement published by the Ukrainian government, the President revealed that they uncovered information that there was a hit list given to Russian assassins in Kyiv and that he was “target number one” and his family, namely his wife Olena and his two children, were “target number two.” This tactic had been previously used in Russian campaigns in Crimea, Syria, and Chechnya.
Despite a bounty on his head, Zelensky had stated that he would remain in Kyiv, however, not in the official residence of the President but in a secret location. “I know that a lot of misinformation and rumors are being spread now. In particular, it is claimed that I have left Kyiv. I remain in the capital. I am staying with my people. My family is not a traitor, but a citizen of Ukraine,” he stated. However, for his own safety, he could not reveal his location.
Western intelligence revealed earlier that Zelensky had been targeted by the Russians months before the invasion to overthrow him and replace him with a pro-Russian leader. Currently, Chenchen special forces are hunting down Ukrainian government officials one by one.
Despite the assassins actively hunting down the Ukrainian government, Russian President Vladimir Putin has now expressed interest in talking to Ukraine, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stating that Putin is ready to send a high-level delegation to Belarus in Minsk.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said that he remained in the country despite rumors that he had fled. “The enemy has marked me as target No. 1,” he said, “my family as target No. 2.”https://t.co/GVzgFZl5Fj pic.twitter.com/2aUvSZwILn
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 25, 2022
Tuning in to SOFREP for the first time? Click here and enjoy a free 2-month trial membership and be up to date with the latest developments in Ukraine and elsewhere around the globe.