Ukraine conflict: Vladimir Putin’s assault on Kyiv ‘failed to make major progress’ despite heavy shelling – MoD

The Ministry of Defence said its latest intelligence suggested Ukrainian cities were continuing to suffer heavy shelling but Vladimir Putin’s assault on capital Kyiv had failed to make major progress.

Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 7:55 am

The intelligence comes after two weeks of fighting, with heavy Russian shelling of major cities in the country.

The Ukrainian government announced that a humanitarian corridor that was opened on Tuesday is set to continue on Wednesday, with around 5,000 people have been evacuated from the north-eastern city of Sumy, which was under fierce Russian bombardment for days.

Russia’s defence ministry also made claims that it’s obtained secret documents that "prove" Kyiv was planning an attack on Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

In an update on the situation in Ukraine, the MoD said: “Fighting north-west of Kyiv remains ongoing with Russian forces failing to make any significant breakthroughs.

“The cities of Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mariupol remain encircled by Russian forces and continue to suffer heavy Russian shelling.

“Ukrainian air defences appear to have enjoyed considerable success against Russia’s modern combat aircraft, probably preventing them achieving any degree of control of the air.”

Yesterday, in a historical moment in the House of Common, Volodymyr Zelensky evoked an inspiring wartime speech from Sir Winston Churchill as he made a comparison to the situation Britain faced during the Second World war.

A Ukrainian serviceman walks past as fire and smoke rises over a damaged logistic center after shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)

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“We will fight until the end, at sea, in the air. We will continue fighting for our land, whatever the cost,” the Ukrainian leader said.

“We will fight in the forest, in the fields, on the shores, in the streets.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will meet with officials in Washington today to discuss further support for Ukraine after both the UK and US were thanked by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for their moves to sanction Russian oil.

Ms Truss will meet US counterpart Antony Blinken and national security advisor Jake Sullivan to consider what more the two countries can do to support Ukraine on security, intelligence and humanitarian issues.

According to the latest reports 760 visas have been granted for Ukrainians to come to the UK, Cabinet minister Grant Shapps said.

The Transport Secretary defended the UK’s record on providing an escape route for Ukrainians and insisted that the country’s president Volodymyr Zelensky did not want his countrymen travelling too far from their homeland.

Mr Shapps told Sky News that 760 visas had been granted, with 22,000 applications “on their way through”.

He said: “No country has given more humanitarian aid to Ukraine than the UK, in the world. We have given £400 million, in addition the British people have been incredibly generous as well.

“Geographically we are, of course, spaced further to the West and President Zelensky and the Ukrainian government have told me that they do not want people to move far away, if at all possible, from the country because they want people to be able to come back.

“We are really leaning into this, at the same time respecting Ukraine’s wishes, the government’s wishes, not to pull people a long way away from Ukraine.”