Would Kyiv be able to hold off is a David vs Goliath proposition that may not end as it did in the biblical book. Especially, since NATO has not moved beyond sanctions leaving Ukraine vulnerable and fully exposed to a Russian invasion.
New Delhi: Russia continues to bombard Ukraine with Vladimir Putin’s forces closing in on Kyiv now, according to the latest inputs from the ground. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says his forces have stopped Putin from capturing the capital city so far. Would Kyiv be able to hold off is a David vs Goliath proposition that may not end as it did in the biblical book. Especially, since NATO has not moved beyond sanctions leaving Ukraine vulnerable and fully exposed to a Russian invasion.
The Ukrainian health minister Viktor Lyashko Saturday said that 198 people have been killed and more than 1,000 others have been wounded in the Russian offensive. There were three children among those killed. His statement made it unclear whether the casualties included both military and civilians. He said another 1,115 people, including 33 children, were wounded in the Russian invasion that began Thursday with massive air and missile strikes and troops forging into Ukraine from the north, east and south.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says his country’s armed forces are successfully fighting back against Russian troops. Zelenskyy said in a video released Saturday that Russian attempts to forge into Kyiv have been repelled and Moscow’s plan to quickly seize the capital and install a puppet government has been thwarted. In an emotional speech, he accused the Russian forces of hitting civilian areas and infrastructure.
The UN refugee agency says that over 120,000 Ukrainian refugees have left the country since Russia began its attack on its neighboring country this week. The UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, Kelly Clements, said in an interview the situation was expected to get worse. We now see over 120,000 people that have gone to all of the neighboring countries, she said. The reception that they are receiving from local communities, from local authorities, is tremendous. But it’s a dynamic situation. We are really quite devastated, obviously, with what’s to come.
A missile struck a high-rise apartment building in Kyiv’s southwestern outskirts. Mayor Vitali Klitchsko has extended a 10 pm-7 am curfew. All civilians on the street during the curfew will be considered members of the enemy’s sabotage and reconnaissance groups, Klitschko said.
The Polish Football Association says it will not play its World Cup qualifying match against Russia due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. No more words, time to act! said association president Cezary Kulesza on Twitter, saying the move was prompted by the escalation of the aggression. The match had been scheduled for March 24.
Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council chaired by President Vladimir Putin, shrugged off a set of crippling sanctions that the US, the European Union and other allies slapped on Russia as a reflection of Western political impotence.
In comments posted on his page on Russian social media VKontakte, Medvedev said the sanctions could offer Moscow a pretext for a complete review of its ties with the West, suggesting that Russia could opt out of the New START nuclear arms control treaty that limits the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. Medvedev also raised the prospect of cutting diplomatic ties with Western countries, saying there is no particular need in maintaining diplomatic relations and adding that we may look at each other in binoculars and gunsights. He pointed at the possibility of freezing Western assets in the country if the West proceeds with threats to freeze Russian assets.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister said that after failure, Russia was changing its tactics. He said that the attempted attack with heavy armor columns had stalled, and that the attacker was now switching to sabotage and paratroop assaults.
Russia has banned airlines from Bulgaria, Poland and Czech Republic from flying to and over its territory in response to similar moves by those countries, the Russian civil aviation authority said on Saturday. Earlier this week, Russia banned all British airlines from its airspace in retaliation for London’s ban on flights to Britain by Russian flag carrier Aeroflot.
The International Monetary Fund has assured Ukraine of its support by all possible means, Ukraine’s finance ministry said on Saturday. The ministry said in a Twitter post that talks on instruments of support for Ukraine are continuing.