The Russian military has struck the area surrounding a large television tower in Kiev, according to Ukrainian officials.
The strike was announced earlier on Tuesday by the Kremlin. "In order to thwart informational attacks against Russia, [Russian forces] will strike technological objects of the SBU and the 72nd Main PSO Center in Kiev. We urge Ukrainian citizens involved by Ukrainian nationalists in provocations against Russia, as well as Kiev residents living near relay stations, to leave their homes,” the Russian Defense Ministry said. The Russian Defense Ministry announcement comes on the heels of Kremlin allegations that Russian infrastructure is being targeted by cyberattacks coordinated by the Ukrainian military.
Satellite images show that a forty-mile-long Russian military convoy has now reached the outskirts of Kiev, portending what observers fear could be an imminent full-scale Russian assault on Ukraine’s capital city. Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs warned earlier that the Russian military is planning a new wave of airstrikes to knock out Ukrainian broadcasting hardware and other communications systems. Ukrainian officials suggested earlier on Tuesday that these strikes could be part of a broader effort “to break the resistance of Ukrainians and the Ukrainian army with lies.” Ukrainian defense minister Oleksiy Reznikov claimed that Russia is trying to create “communication problems” and plans to fabricate reports that Ukraine’s military and government have agreed to surrender. “As a ‘confirmation’ of this, fake—supposedly signed—documents, as well as edited fake videos, will be spread,” he said. “This is a lie. This won’t happen. There will be no surrender! Only victory,” Reznikov added.
Even as the embattled government of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy prepares for a showdown in Kiev, the invading Russian forces are reporting significant gains in the country’s south. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov announced on Tuesday that units from the separatist Donetsk People’s Militia have joined Russian forces in the area, effectively blocking the Ukrainian army’s access to the Sea of Azov. If true, this could be a major step in Russia’s ongoing efforts to encircle and eventually capture the strategically vital southeastern Black Sea coastal city of Mariupol. The city’s mayor, Vadym Boichenko, told Ukrainian media earlier today that Mariupol remains under constant shelling. “We have had residential quarters shelled for five days. They are pounding us with artillery, they are shelling us with GRADS, they are hitting us with air forces,” he said. “We have civilian infrastructure damaged—schools, houses. There are many injured. There are women, children killed.”
Mark Episkopos is a national security reporter for the National Interest.