Ground Report | New Delhi: Ukraine and Russia War News; With “absolute air superiority”, the Russian army was approaching Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, on Thursday with the intention of “decapitating the government” to place a pro-Russian one, according to Western military sources, AFP reported.
Having fired more than 160 missiles at Ukrainian military targets, Russian forces moved rapidly south from Belarus and “came closer to Kyiv” throughout the day, a senior Pentagon official said. “Basically they intend to decapitate the government and install their own form of government, which would explain this initial advance towards Kyiv,” he estimated.
According to a senior Western intelligence official, “Ukraine’s air defences have been eliminated and they have no air force left to protect themselves.”
“In the next few hours the Russians will try to concentrate an overwhelming force around the capital and the defence now falls to the ground forces and the popular resistance,” he explained.
Three US officials told Newsweek they expect Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, to fall to incoming Russian forces within days, with the country’s resistance effectively neutralized soon after.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Moscow’s approach, as revealed by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s references to a “special military operation” to “demilitarize” the neighbouring country, would be to encircle Russian forces. Ukrainian forces and force them to surrender or threaten it with destruction.
The senior Pentagon official emphasized that this offensive is unprecedented in more than 70 years. “We have never seen a move like this, from the nation-state to nation-state, since World War II, certainly nothing of this magnitude, scope and scale,” he said.
So far the Russians have not entered western Ukraine and there is no indication of an amphibious assault in the south from the Black Sea, the source said. There are no estimates of damage or casualties in the Ukrainian military. “There are signs that they are resisting and fighting back,” the official said. The country’s communications appear to be working, he said. He believes that in a second phase there will be a cyber attack to paralyze them.
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