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Ukraine conflict: Russian forces close in on Kyiv

Russian forces' positions in Ukraine as of 0900 h 8 March 2022. (Janes)

Ukrainian forces continue to hold Russian troops on Kyiv's northwest outskirts, preventing them from closing in on the capital city. However, Russian troops east of the city are closing in and the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence has reported the presence of at least six Russian battalion tactical groups in the towns of Brovary and Boryspil.

β€œWe continue to see Ukrainian resistance efforts to slow down the Russian, particularly in the north,” one senior US defence official told reporters on 8 March. β€œNear Kyiv, we still observe that Russian forces have not moved closer to the city centre in the north and the northwest.”

β€œTo the east of Kyiv, we do see Russian forces now trying to make an advance,” the official added.

As of 8 March, the Pentagon estimates that Russia has launched a total of 670 missiles at Ukrainian targets. From that lot, approximately half of the weapons emanated from Ukraine, approximately 260 came from Russian soil, more than 70 from Belarus, and six from the Black Sea, according to the US defence official.

Meanwhile, Russia continues to target Ukrainian infrastructure. Russian forces seized Zaporizhzhia, the largest nuclear powerplant in Ukraine, in Enerhodor on the southern bank of the Dnieper on the night of 3–4 March. Moreover, Russian troops appear targeting Ukrainian oil refineries and storage sites with precision strikes.

Russia appears to have lost large numbers of aircraft since the weekend of 6–7 March, including at least three Su-34 multirole bombers from the 2nd Mixed Aviation Regiment operating out of an airbase in northern Bryansk.

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