Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding that Ukrainian forces surrender to his invading army in order to “spare the country bloodshed” as his forces entered the suburbs of the capital of Kyiv, leading its mayor to declare it must be held at all costs.
As fighting raged through the country on the sixth day of the invasion, a 40-mile long convoy of Russian military vehicles was seen via satellite and by ground observers snaking its way towards Kyiv. By Tuesday morning, Russian units were engaged by elements of the Ukrainian army as well as civilians who have been conscripted to help hold off and beat back President Vladimir Putin’s forces.
Explosions were heard in Kyiv ahead of the weekend, as Mayor Vitali Klitschko, a former boxer whose brother also fought professionally in the U.S., both winning various title belts at one point, ordered a curfew due to the presence of Russian saboteurs, many of whom are believed to have been in the capital city for months ahead of the advance.
Western defense and military experts believe that ultimately Russia will be successful, but they have also noted that Ukraine has put up a much stiffer defense than Putin — and other world leaders — likely expected, meaning Russia’s military advances towards Kyiv and Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, have been slowed considerably.
“The people rose to defend their state, and they showed their true faces. This is terror. They are going to bomb our Ukrainian cities even more. They are going to kill our children even more insidiously. This is an evil that has come to our land and must be destroyed,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has remained in Kyiv to lead his people rather than take flight, said during a rousing speech on Saturday.
“If children are born in shelters, even when the shelling continues, then the enemy has no chance in this — undoubtedly — people’s war,” Zelenskyy added. “To victory! Glory to Ukraine!”
On Tuesday, Russian forces fired a missile at a government building in Kharkiv, leveling the structure and producing scores of casualties.
“A child is among those reported injured in the explosion, but the total number of casualties and injured remains unknown. Ukraine has claimed that Russia launched GRAD and cruise missiles on Kharkiv,” Fox News reported.
— Mariana Betsa (@Mariana_Betsa) March 1, 2022
Russian and Ukrainian delegations met a day earlier in Belarus, but the outcome of those talks is not yet known. Reports said that both sides agreed to continue talking, building on Putin’s early demand for unconditional surrender.
The Brandon regime on Tuesday released a transcript of a phone call he held with Zelenskyy.
I just spoke with President Zelenskyy to discuss our continued support for Ukraine — including security assistance and humanitarian aid — as it defends itself against Russian aggression. We will hold Russia accountable, and our sanctions are already having a devastating impact. pic.twitter.com/9X9x07QbD0
— President Brandon (@POTUS) March 1, 2022
“My determination is to see that the EU- NATO -and all of the allies are on the same page when it comes to sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine,” Brandon said. “One thing that gives us power to push back against (Putin) is the unity of NATO and the west.”
In an interview with CNN, Zelenskyy said the first thing that needs to happen before any peace progress can be made is that Russian forces have to cease their assault.
“You have to speak first of all. Everybody has to stop fighting and to go [back] to that point from where it began five, six days ago,” Zelensky said. “It’s important to stop bombing people and then we can move on and sit at the negotiation table.”
Asked if he thought talking with the Russians is a waste of time, he replied: “We’ll see.”