As fighting has reached the streets of Ukraine’s capital Kiev, the next 24 hours will be crucial, states a US-based think-tank.
The Institute for the Study of War said in its report released on February 25 said Russian forces have adopted four axes — Belarus/Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donbas and Crimea-Kherson, to seize the country.
It states that Russia’s military operation that began on February 24 was well thought of and it adopted brilliant strategy and executed in a well-coordinated manner.
Initially, the Russians carried out attacks in the Donbas region that consists of Donetsk and Luhansk. These are the two regions that the Vladimir Putin administration recognised as independent regions few days ago.
The Russian forces’ strategy would have been to pin Ukrainian fighting soldiers in the east only and further advance through four axes — Belarus/Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donbas and Crimea-Kherson.
On February 25, the Russian soldiers entered the outskirts of Kiev on the west bank of the Dnipro. Russian sabotage groups in civilian clothes are reportedly active in downtown Kiev.
They have not entered the city of Kiev so far. Ukrainian forces have successfully slowed Russian troops, which have temporarily abandoned the failed attempt to take the city of Chernihiv and are instead bypassing it.
Elements of the Russian 76th VDV (Airborne) division have concentrated in southeastern Belarus likely for use along the Chernihiv-bypass axis toward Kiev in the next 24 hours, the report stated.
Kharkhiv will be seized in next few hours as the Russian forces are stationed outside the city with heavy armour equipment and tanks.
The forces intended to engage the Ukrainian troops in the east only. As per the reports, the Ukrainian had invested most of the strength in securing the Donbas region in the east.
North of Crimea, Russian forces completely seized Kherson city and would capture Melitopol within hours in the east.
As per the reports, the advancing troops have assembled Belarus’ Stolin, Belarus, to open a new line of advance against Rivne in western Ukraine.
Further, the report stated that the Russian forces have only engaged its land forces and limited air strikes.
Its naval infantry has been kept on standby to carry out any amphibious landings in the Odessa and the Azov sea, the Institute for the Study of War.