US intelligence reveals Russia's plan to take Kiev

US intelligence reveals Russia’s plan to take Kiev

Today, Ukraine is fighting to maintain control of its capital as US intelligence warns that Russia hopes a lightning assault on the city will be the fastest way to end the war and return control of the country to Moscow.

Intelligence sources, briefing reporters early Friday morning, outlined what they thought the Russian battle plan would be, starting with columns of armored vehicles and troops entering the city from the north and east.

The goal was to surround Kiev, besiege it, and then capture one of the two surviving airfields – Sikorsky or Boryspil – which are located near the city center and on its eastern outskirts.

Once the airports are secured, 10,000 Russian paratroopers will be deployed on Ilyushin Il-76 military transport aircraft, supported by Beriev A-50 aircraft providing communications.

The paratroopers will then be tasked with leading an assault on the city itself to find and capture President Volodymyr Zelensky, his ministers and parliamentarians and force them to sign a peace deal. The deal would return control of the country to Russia or a Moscow-backed puppet regime.

Such an attack could be combined with an offensive from the south and east – Crimea and Donbass – to contain the units of the Ukrainian army fighting there, preventing them from gaining a foothold in the capital.

Sabotage attacks on Kiev’s power grid, along with bombing, could also be used to spread panic and force people to flee, clogging roads and making it difficult for forces already in the city to move.

US intelligence has reported Russian plans for a military takeover of Kiev and an early end to the war in Ukraine, which say troops and armored vehicles will be used to capture airfields before 10,000 paratroopers are deployed to capture the city.  surround the government and force them to sign a peace agreement to return control of the country to Russia.

US intelligence has reported Russian plans for a military takeover of Kiev and an early end to the war in Ukraine, which say troops and armored vehicles will be used to capture airfields before 10,000 paratroopers are deployed to capture the city. surround the government and force them to sign a peace agreement to return control of the country to Russia.

The Ukrainian National Guard lined up on the streets of Kiev on Friday, preparing to defend the city from a Russian attack, shortly before heavy gunshots and explosions were heard.

The Ukrainian National Guard lined up on the streets of Kiev on Friday, preparing to defend the city from a Russian attack, shortly before heavy gunshots and explosions were heard.

Two Ukrainian National Guardsmen take up combat positions on the streets of Kiev in anticipation of a Russian offensive.

Two Ukrainian National Guardsmen take up combat positions on the streets of Kiev in anticipation of a Russian offensive.

A Ukrainian soldier sits on the side of a road in Kiev after being shot dead in clashes with Russians, while another stands guard

A Ukrainian soldier sits on the side of a road in Kiev after being shot dead in clashes with Russians, while another stands guard

American intelligence sources relayed the plan to American writer Michael Weiss, and several Ukrainian sources also briefed journalists in the country on Friday morning.

Russia is believed to have attempted this plan on the first day of fighting, when about 20 helicopters landed a first-class group of troops at the Antonov airfield, about 15 miles from the city center.

After fierce daytime fighting, the Ukrainian National Guard announced that they had recaptured the airfield late Thursday evening. Currently, the runway has been deliberately destroyed, rendering the airfield unusable.

A second attempt to put the plan into action appears to have been made on Friday, when Russian armor was fighting 20 miles north of the city in the early hours of the morning.

This was followed by reports that Russian troops entered the northwestern outskirts, and then National Guard units were seen taking to the streets with rifles, and explosions and gunfire were heard soon after.

Then reports began to emerge of power outages in parts of the capital, as well as fighting on the road leading to Sikorsky Airport.

Another column of Russian armored vehicles was advancing on the city from the east, but was delayed after it encountered heavy resistance near the city of Chernihiv. It is now believed that the forces diverted from the city by capturing Konotop, which gave them another route to the capital.

“The hardest day will be today. The enemy’s plan is to break through with tank columns from the side of Ivankov and Chernigov to Kiev, ”said Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, on Telegram.

As the Russian noose tightened around Kiev, President Joe Biden and NATO allies sought to reassure member countries on the alliance’s eastern flank that their security was guaranteed as a large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine approaches the capital, Kiev.

Ukrainian soldiers take up position on a bridge in Kiev as the Russians advance into the city.

Ukrainian soldiers take up position on a bridge in Kiev as the Russians advance into the city.

Ukrainian soldiers take up position under a bridge during a firefight with Russians in Kiev

Ukrainian soldiers take up position under a bridge during a firefight with Russians in Kiev

Ukrainian soldiers take up position along a roadway during a firefight with Russians in Kiev.

Ukrainian soldiers take up position along a roadway during a firefight with Russians in Kiev.

After Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked for help, NATO members ranging from Russia’s neighboring Estonia in the north to conflict-affected Ukraine in the west to Bulgaria on the Black Sea coast initiated urgent consultations about their security. Only Hungary abstained.

The leaders, having met via videoconference, plan to take stock of the build-up of NATO’s own armed forces. The world’s largest security organization previously had about 5,000 troops stationed in the Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – and Poland, but it has significantly increased its defenses over the past three months.

“Make no mistake, we will protect every ally from any attack on every inch of NATO territory,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who will chair the summit, told reporters on Thursday. “An attack on one ally will trigger a reaction from the entire alliance.”

Some of NATO’s 30 member countries supply weapons, ammunition and other equipment to Ukraine, but NATO as an organization does not. There will be no military action in support of Ukraine, which is a close partner but has no prospect of joining.

The Baltic members, however, said that the West should “urgently provide the Ukrainian people with weapons, ammunition and any other military support for self-defence, as well as economic, financial and political assistance and support, humanitarian aid.”

NATO began beefing up its defenses in northeastern Europe after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014. Recently, some members have also sent troops, aircraft and warships to the Black Sea region, close to allies Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.

In the short term, NATO has activated a contingency planning system to enable commanders to move forces faster. On Thursday, the Pentagon said it was sending 7,000 troops to Europe, in addition to 5,000 newly deployed troops.

Ukrainian soldiers inspect a bullet-riddled vehicle they say was driven by Russian saboteurs dressed in Ukrainian army uniforms who were exposed and then shot to death.

Ukrainian soldiers inspect a bullet-riddled vehicle they say was driven by Russian saboteurs dressed in Ukrainian army uniforms who were exposed and then shot to death.

A Ukrainian military medic approaches the bodies of Russian servicemen in Ukrainian military uniforms lying near and inside a car after they were shot dead during a shootout in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

A Ukrainian military medic approaches the bodies of Russian servicemen in Ukrainian military uniforms lying near and inside a car after they were shot dead during a shootout in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

NATO reconnaissance aircraft began patrolling in Allied territory. The planes will be able to observe the movement of Russian fighters and vehicles on the territory of Ukraine, similar to how they tracked planes in Syria from Turkish airspace.

On Friday, leaders are likely to consider whether to deploy the NATO Response Force, which could number up to 40,000 troops. The NRF’s 5,000-troop land rapid deployment brigade, led by France along with Germany, Poland, Portugal and Spain, has already been put on high alert.

Lithuania declared a state of emergency on Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to enter Ukraine. Lithuania borders the Kaliningrad region of Russia in the southwest, Belarus in the east, Latvia in the north and Poland in the south.

This move by the Baltic nation allows more flexible use of state reserve funds and strengthens border security, giving border guards more powers to detain and search people and vehicles in border areas.

“We don’t have the luxury of being (a) a debating club,” Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda told an emergency summit of European Union leaders last night that was supposed to impose a “high price” on Russia through sanctions. “We must take action.”

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