Ukraine Faces Mounting Difficulties as 40-Mile Russian Convoy Bears Down on Kyiv

Ukraine Faces Mounting Difficulties as 40-Mile Russian Convoy Bears Down on Kyiv

International observers generally agree Ukraine did well against the first phase of the Russian invasion, thwarting a blitzkrieg apparently intended to decapitate the Ukrainian government in a matter of days.

As of Tuesday, however, the second phase is underway, and Russia’s enormous quantitative advantage in troops, armor, airpower, and missiles poses an enormous challenge to Ukraine’s determined defenders.

The most visible portent of danger for Ukraine is the huge Russian convoy bearing down on the capital city of Kyiv. Satellite images on Monday captured a 40-mile-long line of tanks, armored fighting vehicles, and support trucks about 17 miles away from Kyiv. 

The approach of the convoy was screened by intense Russian artillery and missile fire, a detail Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky alluded to when he told the European Parliament he was taking a break between missile strikes to address it by video call on Tuesday.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy delivered an emotional address to the European Parliament, saying he was speaking amid a break in missile strikes.

He urged the bloc to accept Ukraine as a member and "prove that you are with us." pic.twitter.com/2gZB4HRMYP

— DW News (@dwnews) March 1, 2022

The elected representatives of 27 EU countries applaud Zelensky (video link)

I reported from this place for 30 years and never saw it speak with one, very loud voice like this before. Putin has done what no one else achieved – brought the whole of our continent together, united pic.twitter.com/01X4xCBExs

— Alex Taylor (@AlexTaylorNews) March 1, 2022

The Kremlin on Tuesday denied Russian forces are using indiscriminate cluster munitions and shelling civilian areas, despite copious photographic evidence to the contrary compiled by international journalists.

“Russian troops don’t conduct any strikes against civilian infrastructure and residential areas,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, while the Associated Press published documentation of “indiscriminate shelling of homes, schools, and hospitals across Ukraine.”

Russian artillery hammered the strategic eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday, shattering residential buildings and destroying a maternity ward in an underground shelter. At least six deaths were reported.

John Hayward