[After familiarising myself with the map of Ukraine, I saw that north of it is Belarus, who are Whites who are pro-Russian. And Kyiv, which I assume is the same "Kiev" of WW2, is close to the northern border. So it seems as if Putin's troops could get there in a few days. In WW2, the greatest battle in the history of warfare, was Hitler's encirclement of Kiev. Again, these modern wars are nothing like the scale of WW2 warfare. Now Kyiv is really interesting. It has a population of 3 million people. If they truly wanted to, I don't see any reason why they could not stall the Russian invasion there. I don't know how many troops Putin is really sending in. The numbers given so far don't seem that big. In total his entire army that was there, was 130,000 strong – placed all around Ukraine. I am fascinated by street fighting and city fighting, and frankly, the Ukranians could put up a heck of a resistance in Kyiv if they are serious. Strictly speaking, if the Ukrainians can arm themselves and begin digging in and getting sandbags and various barricades going, they could actually give Putin the biggest fight of his life in Kyiv. This is militarily possible. I am sure they could easily muster a minimum of 30,000 men from scratch in Kyiv alone, along with all their other troops. I'm sure they could muster, say, 60,000 men or even more, to fight the Russians in Kyiv. The Ukrainians seem to have had their best successes in shooting down Russian aircraft and helicopters. Even the tanks could be stopped in Kyiv. Even if the Russians get there in a few days, the Ukrainians could truly fight the Russians to a standstill there. It is a big city. If the Ukrainians can get over their panic, this thing can still be changed. The Germans were masters of street fighting and street fighting is the EASIEST defence method you can get in war. You don't need much training. A city is a great place to FIGHT ON THE DEFENSIVE. I really think that Kyiv is the one place where the Ukrainians could bog down the Russians BIG TIME. If they fight like crazy for Kyiv, then that is their best shot at turning the tide on Putin's invasion. Kyiv could be the one place where the Ukrainians need to mass and make a stand. How many troops does Putin have? Can he encircle them? I actually think that it would really be a problem for him. I think, in all this panic in the Ukraine, and all this fleeing, etc – that Kyiv is the real battle the Ukrainians can focus on. I think they could bog Putin's forces down and begin slowing them down big time. Then the battle will go from hours, into days, into weeks … and if the Ukrainians are determined, even months. This is their best shot, for the sake of morale, etc. This is the place where Putin's entire move could be stopped. But, if they chicken out and just rush to surrender, then this is Putin's big win. Putin is bold, he is fast … and if they chicken out… then it would be a huge win for him. But, Kyiv is truly a place the Ukranians could make a serious stand. I don't think Putin can easily surround the city. And the Ukranians could bring in the NUMBERS … and then Putin's game plan would fall apart. Kyiv might be the key. If they are chicken and they quit … then Putin's boldness pays off. If they stand their ground, dig in, get sandbags, put up barricades everywhere, and move into basements, etc – bring in artillery and missiles – they could make it a grave for many Russian troops. But we'll have to see how they go. The useless West and it's inability to help arm them – is very pathetic. The battle for Kyiv is the thing I would watch. I think that is the one aspect of Putin's plan that could go very wrong for them. If they can hold out there, then they might be able to hold out in other parts of the country. Let's see if they are game for this. Jan]
They Want Kyiv’: Ukraine Opens Armories to Citizens Amid Russia Blitzkrieg
By David Brennan On 2/24/22 at 6:02 AM EST
Ukraine Border Guard Video Captures Moment Russian Military Roll Across Crimea Border
Russia’s multi-pronged invasion of Ukraine that began early on Thursday is aimed at the capital Kyiv, a source close to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has told Newsweek.
The president on Thursday announced martial law as Russian missiles rained down on Ukrainian military, civilian and infrastructure targets across the country, strikes stretching from the border with Russia in the east to the border with Poland in the west.
Russian armored and support vehicles were seen advancing across Ukraine’s eastern, southern, and northern frontiers under the cover of missile barrages and airstrikes. Those coming from positions in Belarus appeared to be heading towards the capital Kyiv, only 160 miles away.
A source close to Zelenskyy, who asked not to be named as they were not authorized to speak publicly, told Newsweek: "They want Kyiv."
The source declined to give Newsweek any information on the president’s whereabouts.
Recent reports have indicated that President Joe Biden’s administration has made plans to relocate Zelenskyy from Ukraine to Poland in the event of a major Russian invasion.
Zelenskyy addressed the nation on Thursday morning as explosions and air raid sirens could be heard in Kyiv. "We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country," the president said. "Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities."
Heavy fighting has been reported near the eastern city of Kharkiv and to the north of Kyiv. In the south, Russian troops have reportedly pushed 80 miles into Ukraine and have reached the Dnieper River.
Ukrainian forces say they have shot down at least seven aircraft. Russia has denied the claims. Other reports detail Russian helicopters being downed, including over Hostomel, just outside Kyiv, where videos and reports indicate a Russian airborne assault underway at the town’s airport.
The ultimate Russian endgame is unclear, though as the day wears on the push towards the capital and other large cities in the south and east are becoming more obvious.
Svitlana Zalishchuk—a foreign policy adviser to Yuriy Vitrenko, the CEO of Ukraine’s state-owned Naftogaz energy firm; and to Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister on European Euro Atlantic integration—told Newsweek from Kyiv she believes Putin wants to install a "puppet government" to replace Zelenskyy’s.
Valeriy Chaly, Ukraine’s former ambassador to the U.S., told Newsweek the situation is still developing. "It will be more clear tonight," Chaly said from Kyiv.
The U.S. and European Union, meanwhile, are considering a response. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the "barbaric" invasion would be met with a "massive and targeted" sanctions package.
This, she said, will include targeting "strategic sectors of the Russian economy by blocking their access to key technologies and markets. We will weaken Russia’s economic base and its capacity to modernize. In addition, we will freeze Russian assets in the EU and stop the access of Russian banks to the European financial market."
Zelenskyy compared the Russian invaders to those of Nazi Germany, who swept over and devastated Ukraine—then part of the Soviet Union—in World War Two.
"Ukraine is defending itself and will not give up its freedom, no matter what Moscow thinks," Zelenskyy said. "Russia vilely and suicidally attacked our state in the morning. Just like fascist Germany did during the Second World War."
Putin announced the start of the "special military operation" early on Thursday, saying the goal was the "demilitarisation and denazification" of Ukraine.
Russian officials have long tried to frame the democratically elected government in Kyiv—the prime minister and president of which are both of Jewish heritage—as neo-Nazi.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Thursday: "Ideally we need to liberate Ukraine, cleanse it of Nazis."