Day 15 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine: Kremlin tyrant Vladimir Putin (69) mercilessly continues his war of aggression against the neighboring country Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spread the lie that Russia never attacked Ukraine. His troops are currently reducing hospitals to rubble, killing and injuring thousands of civilians with their airstrikes – and driving millions to flee.
Fearing a major Russian attack, almost half of all residents of Kyiv have already left the capital. Mayor Vitali Klitschko (50) confirmed this again on Thursday, after he had given a corresponding assessment on BILD Live the day before.
Klitschko explained on Ukrainian television: “According to our information, one in two residents of Kyiv has left the city.” It is about two million inhabitants, Klitschko continues. Before the war, around 3.5 million people lived in the greater Kyiv area – as many as in Berlin, for example.
In the first days of the war, tens of thousands of Kievans tried to get out of the country in their cars as quickly as possible. The pictures and videos of gigantic traffic jams had gone around the world.
The remaining armed forces and civilians are now preparing for the final Russian invasion – and the capital is literally barricaded. Klitschko continued: “Every street, every building, every checkpoint has been reinforced. Kyiv has been turned into a fortress.”
In fact, the encirclement is now apparently imminent. After a Russian military convoy more than 60 kilometers long was sighted on its way to Kyiv more than a week ago, the arrival – mainly because of the strong Ukrainian resistance – was drawn out. A delay that Vladimir Putin probably didn’t expect either, who reportedly expected the capital to be captured in a day or two.
But on Thursday morning, the Ukrainian general staff said Russian forces had continued their “offensive operation” to encircle Kiev during the night. AFP reporters saw on Thursday how armored vehicles belonging to the Russian units drove up to the north-east edge of the capital. Ukrainian soldiers reported heavy night-time skirmishes for control of the main access road to Kyiv.
Fighting continued in other cities on Thursday. After the harrowing. Air raid on a maternity hospital in Mariupol, the city council reported further attacks on the port city. Bombs had been dropped near a residential building, the city council announced at noon on the Telegram news channel.
The technical university near the city center was hit. Information about the victims was initially not available. Impacts were seen on video. One square was littered with rubble. The merciless attacks on cities like Mariupol and Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine are also seen as a harbinger of the impending attack on Kyiv.