Day 31 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Preparations for a Russian Attack on Kyiv despite the Halted Offensive
The Ukrainian military says it still considers a major Russian attack on Kyiv possible, although their offensive has long stalled due to food and fuel shortages and persistent Ukrainian resistance.
Sirens for air danger sounded this morning in many Ukrainian cities - Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro, Zhytomyr, Kharkiv, Sumy. In the capital, however, the alarm has not been sounded in the last hour. Active fighting continues in the vicinity of Sumy, the district administration reported.
Meanwhile, a senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said in Warsaw that Russian troops were not preparing for an attack on Kyiv, but that fighting was continuing for the Makarov settlement near the capital.
Russian forces are 15 kilometers from Nikolaev, trying to cut off Ukrainian support for the city. They have not advanced in their attack on Kharkiv.
The source noted that there is an intensification of the Russian Air Force, which performs up to 300 flights a day.
Since the beginning of the military invasion of Ukraine, the Russian army has fired 1,250 missiles.
A shipment of 1,500 “Strela” anti-aircraft missiles and 100 automatic weapons has arrived in Ukraine from Germany, according to government sources in Kyiv, quoted by Ukrainian media. Earlier this week, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced that new deliveries of Strela missiles were expected to Ukrainian forces after the delay.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's defense ministry has warned that hasty and uncontrolled reports of arms supplies or troop movements are dangerous. They can help Russia “conduct its operations more accurately,” said Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar.
Earlier, a Pentagon spokesman did not rule out the possibility of Ukrainian forces regaining control of Kherson.
The northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv remains isolated from Russian forces.
More than 7,300 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities along humanitarian corridors on Friday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said. She specified that 2,800 people left the besieged Mariupol by personal transport.
France is planning a humanitarian operation with Turkey and Greece to evacuate Mariupol, French President Emmanuel Macron said.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said peace talks with Russia were difficult and dismissed reports that progress had been made on four of the six key issues.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commented on the conditions set by his country in the talks:
“Ukraine's sovereignty must be guaranteed. Ukraine's territorial integrity must be ensured. I.e. the conditions must be fair. The Ukrainian people simply will not accept anything else.”
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