Russia not abandoning plans to surround Kiev: Ukraine

Kiev: The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Thursday that Russia is not abandoning its plans to surround Kiev as Moscow’s military invasion continued for the 15th day.

In its latest update on Facebook, the military said that Ukrainian forces are repelling and holding back Moscow’s offensive operation in all directions despite attempts by Russian troops to advance towards the capital city.

It said the Russian troops have “lost their military capacity and are being introduced into the operation of reserves”.

“To increase combat capacity, the enemy is moving to the borders of Ukraine unions and military parts from other strategic directions.”

The military added that Moscow was not abandoning plans to surround Kiev and it its continuing the offensive from the Polissya and Siversky directions.

It also accused Belarus of providing support to Russia in ensuring the supply of fuel and oil, the use of railway infrastructure and airfield network.

“Sabotage of military and civilian infrastructure remains likely.”

Meanwhile, Russian military operation is underway in the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, while is also increasing troops in the Mykolayi region.

A top official in the Sumy region claimed on Thursday that Russia carried out overnight strikes in the city of Okhtyrka, the BBC reported.

The strikes hit residential areas and a gas pipeline at about 12.30 a.m., the official added.

About 10 minutes later the suburbs of the regional capital Sumy and the village of Bytytsia were also bombed, he said.

The official further said that three humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians are expected to open from 9 a.m. (local time) onwards.

On Wednesday, about 5,000 people were evacuated from Sumy, that has been under heavy Russian bombardment for days.

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