The capital city of Kyiv has been a key strategic goal for Russian troops since they invaded Ukraine on February 24. However, as the conflict approaches the one-month mark, the city has yet to fall. to invaders. Kyiv has experienced a great deal of shelling and bombing, and areas around the city became overrun by Russian troops. Now, Ukrainian officials say they have taken back a strategic suburb that Russians had previously held.
In the early dawn hours of Tuesday morning, Ukrainian troops forced Russian fighters out of the suburb of Makariv, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. Makariv is near an important road into Kyiv, which Ukrainian troops now control, according to the report. The regaining of Makariv will prevent Russian forces from totally surrounding Kyiv on the northwestern side of the city.
Kyiv is currently under a 35-hour curfew that will end on Wednesday morning. Residents have been sheltering in their homes or underground where possible in an effort to survive the intense artillery firing and bombing that has plagued the city.
Throughout Kyiv and the entirety of Ukraine, civilian structures have been the target of Russian assaults in the last month.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said during an appearance on Fox News, “the U.S. has seen clear evidence that the Russian military is conducting war crimes in Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly asked the United States and other NATO countries to assist Ukraine by providing a no-fly zone over the country. President Joe Biden has said this was “off the table,” citing cautions that Russian President Vladimir Putin would see this as an aggressive act by America. Last Thursday, however, a senior defense official said that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin “is considering the possibility of deploying additional American troops to NATO’s Eastern flank.”
The defense officials also commented on the state of fighting in Ukraine. The official remarked that “Russia’s military remains stalled,” and that many of the soldiers are beginning to suffer from frostbite. The official said: “Because they lack the appropriate cold weather gear for the environment that they’re in (they are suffering from frostbite). In addition to food and fuel, even in terms of personal equipment for some of their troops, they’re having trouble.”
Reports much like this have come time and time again regarding the morale of the Russian troops or their inability to squash the Ukraine military and Ukrainian citizens.
A 40-mile convoy that was intended to bring supplies and military vehicles into Kyiv was stalled for about one week before it dispersed and appeared to be redeployed elsewhere, according to the BBC. Other reports detail that Russian soldiers were not told exactly why they were going to Ukraine; some were told it was a peacekeeping mission, while other reports hold that soldiers were told that Ukrainians would welcome them. Although these reports are unconfirmed, the results are the same – the Ukrainians have proven to be an underdog that has fought the Russian bear valiantly.
Even U.S. military officials compliment the way Ukrainian forces are handling the constant inundation by the Russian military: “We continue to see them defend in a very nimble, agile way.”
Reports are surfacing that the Ukrainian forces are not only holding their own on the battlefield, but they “able and willing to take back territory that the Russians have taken.” To date, however, Russia has only captured one major city, Kherson, in Southern Ukraine. Demands by the Russian government to surrender Mariupol, a coastal city where an air raid shelter for civilians that had previously been a theater was bombed, were answered with a definitive no by Ukrainian government officials.
At least 925 Ukrainian citizens have been killed since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, according to the United Nations. The Ukrainian government says that at least 112 Ukrainian children have been killed during the conflict, with hundreds more injured.