מחסום מאולתר ב כיכר המרכזית ב קייב אוקראינה מלחמה עם רוסיה
Kyiv is preparing for the Russian attack
Photo: EPA
Ukrainians fill sandbags to create barricades

As Putin loses patience, Ukraine braces for Russian onslaught on Kyiv

Ynet reporter sees civilians and security forces attempt to fortify the capital with sandbags and metal barricades as they prepare for siege; 'Kyiv can be destroyed, but Kyiv will never be taken,' one soldier says

Ron Ben-Yishai |
Published: 03.06.22, 10:26
As the war in Ukraine continues to rage and Russia's President Vladimir Putin appears to be losing patience by the lack of progress in his offensive, Kyiv is preparing for what it believes to be the largest Russian attack on the capital thus far.
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  • According to Ukrainian and American estimations, Russia will attack the city from the air and with ground forces.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    אוקראינים ממלאים שקי חול כדי להגן על אודסה
    אוקראינים ממלאים שקי חול כדי להגן על אודסה
    Ukrainians fill sandbags to create barricades
    (Photo: Gilles Bader/Le Pictorium/Cover Images/Reuters)
    The attack has in fact, already begun in Kyiv's outskirts, with heavy shelling on nearby towns of Irpin and Bucha, which are located in the northwest urban area of the capital.
    In order to prepare for the upcoming offensive, giant trucks began moving sand from all around the city to one location, where hundreds of Ukrainians began to fill sandbags to create barricades around the city to hold off the attack.
    Satellite images taken last Sunday, showed a large convoy of Russian ground forces, including tanks, moving in the direction of the Ukrainian capital, expected to join the forces near Hostomel and the nearby airport. The convoy also includes armored forces, portable air defense batteries, infantry, and logistical vehicles.
    U.S. and Ukraine intelligence assessments say that the Russian invasion will focus on capturing both Kyiv and Kharkiv, the country's two largest cities, this week.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    מחסום מאולתר ב כיכר המרכזית ב קייב אוקראינה מלחמה עם רוסיה
    מחסום מאולתר ב כיכר המרכזית ב קייב אוקראינה מלחמה עם רוסיה
    Kyiv is preparing for the Russian attack
    (Photo: EPA)
    Kyiv will be surrounded by forces from the north and northwest, already some 20 kilometers away. They will take position along the Dnieper River, which splits the urban area of the capital.
    The eastern bank of the Dnieper will be besieged by forces that will arrive from the cities of Somi and Chernihiv.
    The assault will begin with heavy bombing from the air and shelling from ground forces, in order to break the spirit of the Ukrainians and their government and to frighten local civilians militants from the suburban neighborhoods, where the Russian forces plan to advance.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    אוקראינים ממלאים שקי חול כדי להגן על אודסה
    אוקראינים ממלאים שקי חול כדי להגן על אודסה
    Civilians fill sandbags to be used to create fortified barricades
    (Photo: Reuters)
    It is estimated that the Russians won't advance directly into Kyiv, and instead, they will spread their forces across the streets of the outside neighborhoods just like in Kherson and Mariupol.
    The Ukrainian army, however, fears that the Russians will use the heavy shelling to advance into the urban area and blow up the bridges leading into the city one by one, creating the difficulty for the civilian population to move between Kyiv and the outer neighborhoods and neighboring towns.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    חיילים של צבא אוקראינה מסייעים למשפחה של פליטים לחצות את נהר אירפין
    חיילים של צבא אוקראינה מסייעים למשפחה של פליטים לחצות את נהר אירפין
    Soldiers of the Ukrainian army help civilians cross a bridge blown-up near Kyiv
    (Photo: AFP)
    In Kyiv, government and security forces have been fortifying their office doors and windows with sandbags to reduce damage from the shelling.
    On Saturday, I had the chance to be at the gate of the Security Service of Ukraine headquarters, which is equivalent to the Israeli Shin Bet.
    The whole area was full of sandbag fortified positions, which were built around the perimeter, and behind them soldiers took up position.
    We were forbidden to film, but they were willing to tell us that they were sure that the Russians will attack and they would fight to their last drop of blood.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    אוקראינים אזרחים מחסום בטון בכיכר העצמאות קייב אוקראינה משבר מלחמה באירופה
    אוקראינים אזרחים מחסום בטון בכיכר העצמאות קייב אוקראינה משבר מלחמה באירופה
    Barricades across Kyiv
    (Photo: Reuters)
    They did not say it as an impassioned statement but as a fact. "Kyiv can be destroyed, but Kyiv will never be taken," one said.
    As a last resort, the Ukrainians built barricades to slow down tanks advancing, made up of iron railway parts forged together and attached to concrete bases to prevent their removal.
    The barriers, the shortage of supplies, and the civilians which more and more of them spend their nights in the underground metro stations and basement, reflect the feeling that the Russians are close, and things are about to get worse. And all I can do is hope that I am wrong.
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