Russia ‘unlikely’ achieved military goals in first wave of Ukraine invasion amid ‘fierce resistance’, UK says

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Friday 25 February 2022 02:03
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Ukraine-Russia invasion: Video appears to show military vehicles at Chernobyl

Russia is “unlikely” to have achieved its military goals in the first wave of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine amid “fierce resistance”, say United Kingdom officials.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that at least 137 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since the Russian invasion began early on Thursday, and 316 soldiers wounded.

But the UK’s Ministry of Defence says that Russian forces have so far fallen short in what Moscow will have hoped to achieve in the early fighting.

The MOD issued an intelligence update shortly after 1am Friday (GMT), in which they said, “The Ukrainian Armed Forces have reportedly halted Russia’s advance towards Chernihiv. Fighting probably continues on the outskirts of the city.”

And they added: “It is unlikely that Russia has achieved its planned Day 1 military objectives. Ukrainian forces have presented fierce resistance across all axes of Russia’s advance.”

Earlier, Mr Zelensky said that he believes Russia”sabotage groups” have already entered Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, and that he and his family are their top targets.

“According to our information, the enemy marked me as target No. 1, my family, as target No. 2. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state,” he said.

He also ordered a general military mobilisation and banned male citizens aged between 18 and 60 from fleeing Ukraine.

The MOD also confirmed that they believe Russian forces have “highly likely” captured the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

The reactor at Chernobyl infamously melted down in April 1986 during a test, covering much of Europe in a radioactive cloud.

At that time, Ukraine remained a part of the Soviet Union, and to this day a highly protected 20-mile exclusion zone had existed around the site, which entombs a highly dangerous amount of nuclear material.

Experts said on Thursday that Russian troops have captured the site because of its geographical location on the road to Kiev from Belarus, and could be used as a staging point for troops and machinery.

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