Pentagon officials said Western intelligence believes Russia is trying to defeat the Ukrainian government and is trying to set up their own officials to take charge of the country.
“It’s our rating [Russian forces] Basically, it has all the intent to decapitate the government and introduce its own method of governance. This will explain these early moves to Kiev, “officials said. Said In a Pentagon news release.
Officials said the fighting took place within 20 miles of the center of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, and Kharkiv, one of Ukraine’s largest cities.
“These three axes are … clearly designed to be the main center of population,” officials said.
At the beginning of Thursday, Russia carried out airstrikes and launched missiles at Ukrainian military positions, officials said. After these attacks, Russian troops, tanks, and artillery began to move to Ukraine, but Ukrainian troops were able to repel some of the Moscow attacks.
They used about 75 fixed-wing heavy and medium bombers to carry out their attacks, attacking air defense positions and military bases, US officials said. It is not clear how many people died.
US defense officials claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had decided to invade Ukraine even before diplomatic negotiations took place. Ukrainian leaders claimed they believed Putin would not attack and rejected most Western intelligence reports, but Western officials warned for weeks that Russia would launch an attack on neighboring countries, including the capital Kiev. ..
An adviser to the Office of the President of Ukraine said Russian troops had occupied the former nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, just 90 km (60 miles) north of the capital, and Hostmel Airport in the Kiev region, where Paratrooper had previously landed.
Fierce fire exchanges were also taking place in the northeastern regions of Smy and Kharkov, the southern populous cities and the regions of Kherson and Odessa, where Ukraine’s most important ports are located.
President Joe Biden announced Thursday that he would strengthen sanctions on Russia’s assets and further threatened, but emphasized that Ukraine would not have US troops deployed.
“This is a deliberate attack,” he told White House reporters. “Putin is an invader. Putin chose this war, and now he and his country will endure the consequences.”
According to the White House, this measure limits Moscow’s ability to import goods while limiting Sherbank’s transactions in the US dollar.
And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Ukrainians to protect their country and promised to give weapons to anyone ready to fight.
“Today we’ve heard more than just missile blasts, combat, and aircraft roars. This is the sound of the new Iron Curtain that keeps Russia out of the civilized world,” Zelensky said.
Reuters contributed to this report.