Russian forces in retreat from Kyiv after successful Ukrainian counter-attacks, UK intelligence claims

A man rides his bike past flames and smoke rising from a fire following a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Friday, March 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

The Russian army has been forced to retreat more than 35 kilometers east of Kyiv after a number of successful Ukrainian counter-attacks allowed the country’s forces to reclaim towns and defensive positions along its capital and surrounding areas, according to U.K. intelligence.

In a daily intelligence update provided by the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence, Russians have fallen back on “overextended supply lines” outside of the Ukrainian capital, with defense forces “likely to continue to attempt to push Russian forces back along the north-western axis from Kyiv towards Hostomel Airfield.”

Meanwhile, in the south of the country, the Russian attempt to drive west towards Odesa had largely been slowed by “logistic issues and Ukrainian resistance.”

The update echoes a number of reports this week which have suggested the now month-old invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces has stalled.

Ukrainian resolve has resulted in Russia failing to conquer a single major city in the country, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hopes to take Kyiv within a matter of days at the beginning of the conflict.

Indiscriminate Russian shelling is still posing a major threat to life, particularly in Ukraine’s urban areas, with a local city official claiming the death toll following the Russian bombardment of a theater in the southeastern city of Mariupol had exceeded 300.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy made yet another impassioned plea to NATO forces on Thursday, asking for assistance to neutralize the threat of ongoing Russia bombing through the provision of fighter jets — the request has so far fallen on deaf ears in the West with NATO allies proving unwilling to risk further escalation with Russia.

Ukrainian troops continue to hold the northern city of Chernihiv, while in the south the country’s defenses remained strong in the port city of Mykolaiv, with forces launching successful guerilla attacks against Russian naval units on the Black Sea coast.

Footage from the port of Berdyansk appeared to show the aftermath of a Ukrainian attack on a key Russian landing ship, Orsk, which the Ukrainian forces claim to have destroyed.

The country’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar told Ukrainian TV that its military had hit the 370ft warship capable of carrying 20 tanks, 45 APCs and 400 Russian troops.

Unconfirmed estimates provided by the Ukrainian armed forces claim more than 16,000 Russian troops have now been killed in the conflict, in addition to 115 planes, 125 helicopters, 561 tanks, and 5 boats.

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