We anticipated the main attack on Kyiv on Friday night and the likelihood that it might fall.
But it's day three, and the Ukrainians are still hanging in there, giving Putin far more difficulty than he ever expected, with Russians reportedlytaking heavy losses. Kyiv is still standing.
We fought through this night. Good morning. Kyiv is ours— Anastasiia Lapatina (@lapatina_) February 26, 2022
According to the British Defence Ministry, Reuters reports, they're under fire but haven't fallen yet.
“Russian forces have continued their advance on Kyiv with the bulk of their forces now 30 km from the centre of the city,” the defence ministry said in an intelligence update posted on Twitter.
“Russia has yet to gain control of the airspace over Ukraine greatly reducing the effectiveness of the Russian Air Force. Russian casualties are likely to be heavy and greater than anticipated or acknowledged by the Kremlin,” it said.
Kyiv remains under Ukrainian control, as Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky refuses to leave his country on the third day of Russia's invasion. Zelensky has been posting videos from Kyiv, letting his citizens and the world know that he's still there and standing up for his people. He's refused the offer from the U.S. to get him out of here and instead has asked for ammo to help him fight.
Не вірте фейкам. pic.twitter.com/wiLqmCuz1p— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 26, 2022
I am here.We will not lay down our arms.We will defend our state.A lot of fake information has appeared on the Internet claiming that I asked our army to lay down arms.The truth is that this is our country, our land, our children, and we will protect all of this.Glory to Ukraine.— Simon Vaut (@simonvaut) February 26, 2022
There have also been conflicting reports about Turkey shutting off the Black Sea, a critical move and something that would severely hurt Russia if true. Zelensky is thanking Turkey for it.
I thank my friend Mr. President of 🇹🇷 @RTErdogan and the people of 🇹🇷 for their strong support. The ban on the passage of 🇷🇺 warships to the Black Sea and significant military and humanitarian support for 🇺🇦 are extremely important today. The people of 🇺🇦 will never forget that!— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 26, 2022
Turkey, although close to Russia, has been very supportive of Ukraine, and is now calling for a ceasefire. One of the ships that Russia hit in the Black Sea was a Turkish warship, so Turkey can't be happy about what is happening from Russia. Turkey is a NATO nation.
⚡️After failure, Russia is changing tactics, says Ukraine’s Defense Minister.— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) February 26, 2022
He said that the attempted attack with heavy armor columns had stalled, and that the attacker was now switching to sabotage and paratroop assaults.
According to intel from Riho Terras, a member of the EU Parliament and a former defense minister for Estonia, Putin is furious that it hasn't gone as quickly or as well as he thought it would.
Terras said the plan was to sow panic among the citizenry, so they and Zelensky would flee, and then Russia would try to install a puppet government which the panicked citizens will agree to. That doesn't sound like, if this is true, that Putin has sized the Ukrainians up right — most appear willing to fight to the death and Zelensky is staying put. So, this seems to be a very poorly thought-out plan.
Now, there are even reports that Ukraine is not only defending itself but hitting back at the Russians, in Russia, hitting an airbase in Rostov. That's stunning, if true, and the reporter from Kyiv Independent is calling it “confirmed.”
Meanwhile, Putin is still facing a lot of protests at home, with thousands still coming out in the streets against the invasion, and a lot of anger from around the world.
THREAD 1/7 Intel from a Ukrainian officer about a meeting in Putin’s lair in Urals. Oligarchs convened there so no one would flee. Putin is furious, he thought that the whole war would be easy and everything would be done in 1-4 days. @EPPGroup @general_ben @edwardlucas @politico pic.twitter.com/8AoelUDWM9— Riho Terras (@RihoTerras) February 26, 2022
2/7 Russians didn’t have a tactical plan. The war costs about $20 bln/day. There are rockets for 3-4 days at most, they use them sparingly. They lack weapons, the Tula and 2 Rotenberg plants can’t physically fulfil the orders for weapons. Rifles and ammo are the most they can do.— Riho Terras (@RihoTerras) February 26, 2022
4/7 If Ukraine manages to hold the Russians off for 10 days, then the Russians will have to enter negotiations. Because they have no money, weapons, or resources. Nevertheless, they are indifferent about the sanctions.— Riho Terras (@RihoTerras) February 26, 2022
It is now confirmed — Ukrainian military has delivered a strike on a Russian airfield in Millerovo, Rostov Oblast— Illia Ponomarenko (@IAPonomarenko) February 25, 2022
A number of enemy aircraft have been destroyed. pic.twitter.com/xwex4z5ryg
If Ukraine can hold out, it might be the most amazing feat against far greater numbers, and a testament to the strength of will and resistance.
Warning for graphic (but appropriate) language: