Ukraine’s defense minister dismisses fears that Kyiv might fall
Kyiv is unlikely to fall in the case of a Russian invasion, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said during a show on Ukraine’s ICTV television channel on Feb. 14.
The defense minister was responding to various speculations that a recent Russian military buildup, which include several Russian battalion tactical groups that have been positioned on the Belarusian border a few hundred kilometers north of Kyiv, would try and seize the Ukrainian capital in the case of a further Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Reznikov described any attempt to seize Kyiv as “a very dubious proposition.”
“To be honest – I don’t believe (that Kyiv could fall to the enemy),” said the minister.
“Don’t forget, of the thousand kilometers of our border with Belarus, around 750 kilometers are just swamps and forests, so there are only a handful of places where the border could be crossed.”
He added that the invading force would have to advance 200 kilometers to Ukraine’s capital, and Ukraine’s defenders would stop the invaders in their tracks.
In addition to Ukraine’s Armed Forces remaining on high alert and ready to repel a Russian attack, the four million residents of Kyiv themselves present a serious challenge to any who would seek to capture the city, according to the minister.
“I’d like to remind that the (city’s total) area is 82.5 square kilometers, … with the Dnipro River in the middle, and our huge left and right banks of it,” said Reznikov.
“That’s why I think it’s a huge mistake to assume that Kyiv would fall or get captured in several days; I suggest we disregard such apocalyptic scenarios for the nonsense that they are.”
On Feb. 10, U.S. President Joe Biden met with his national security advisors to discuss the situation on Ukraine’s borders, according to international news agency Reuters. Russian naval exercises in the Black Sea and military drills in Belarus left officials convinced that “the situation is approaching a critical point.”
Earlier, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said that media is oversaturated on the subject of a potential Russian invasion, and urged the public to remain calm, assuring them that “everything is under control.”
Currently, there are approximately 140,000 Russian troops surrounding Ukraine, from Russia, Belarus, and the temporarily occupied territories.
The Kremlin denies gearing up for an invasion, and has instead accused Ukraine of planning false flag operations, as well as of drawing up plans to use force to restore Kyiv’s control over territories lost since 2014.
However, the Kremlin has declined to provide a guarantee of non-invasion, and has supplied no evidence of this alleged planned Ukrainian offensive.
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