The Armed Forces of Ukraine have issued an upbeat assessment of their defense of Kyiv, saying Russia’s two main routes for attacking the capital city have been blocked.
In the face of a campaign to apparently encircle the capital ahead of a possible attempt to take it, Russian forces on both sides of the Dnipro river — which divides the city north to south — have been stopped, according to Oleksandr Hruzevych, deputy chief of staff.
“As of today, the enemy has been stopped at a distance of almost 70 kilometers (about 43 miles) from the city’s right bank, which makes it impossible to carry out fire, except for rocket fire. On the left bank, the advance has [also] been stopped. The enemy is cynically shooting at our infrastructure facilities. [But] the main ways of attack are blocked,” he said Friday.
Russian forces had abandoned offensive actions around Brovary to the northeast of Kyiv, and Boryspil to the southeast, Hruzevych said. After creating two lines of defense to protect the capital, Hruzevych said Ukraine’s army was now “working on strengthening a third, distant line of defense.”
Addressing the threat posed by cruise missiles, the brigadier general said an air defense system was still in operation around Kyiv, but admitted missiles intercepted over the city still posed a threat. One person was killed in such an incident Friday morning in the northwestern district of Podilskyi, the city council said earlier.
On Friday morning, four cruise missiles fired from warplanes over the Black Sea had smashed into an aircraft parts plant in the western city of Lviv. Two further missiles had been intercepted by air defense systems before they could hit their target.
"The Black Sea and Belarus are two difficult directions from which the enemy launches missile strikes,” Hruzevych acknowledged. But, he continued: “An effective system has been developed where the missiles are to be destroyed on approach. We are now working on a system that will minimize the impact of missiles for civilians."
He also said a campaign to remove the threat of saboteurs in the capital had already resulted in the elimination of more than 100 people.