Kyiv: As Russian troops advanced in Ukraine, the White House on Friday acknowledged that Kyiv falling to Russia is a “real possibility.” “Even as we see resistance on the ground, Russia’s military continues to advance toward Kyiv,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a press briefing on Friday.
“Kyiv falling is a real possibility,” she said.
However, she refrained from making comments on what the response would be by the Biden administration if that actually happens.
According to the US assessment of as recently as Thursday, Kyiv could fall to Russian forces within 24-48 hours.
Earlier in the day, Ukraine’s army said it had repelled a Russian attack on one of the capital city Kyiv’s main avenues. Russia “attacked one of the military units on Victory Avenue in Kyiv. The attack was repulsed,” reported AFP citing a Facebook post by Ukraine’s army. The post didn’t mention the exact location of the incident.
According to reports, Russian troops are advancing toward Ukraine down both sides of the Dnieper river. The Russian military also controls several airfields which can be used to funnel more forces into the country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is believed to be aiming to control all of Ukraine by overthrowing its current leadership. However, military actions have so far been concentrated in the east, south and center of the country.
Earlier, Ukraine’s military said it had shot down a Russian military transport plane with paratroopers on board. According to a statement from the military’s General Staff, the Il-76 heavy transport plane was shot down near Vasylkiv, a city 40 kilometers south of Kyiv. As of yet, the Russian military has not released any official statement confirming the loss.
Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy released a video message from the street outside the presidential palace in Kyiv to reassure the nation amid Russian aggression. In the video, Zelenskyy said he and his top officials are staying in the capital to defend.
Two people were killed after a school was hit by shell fire in the separatist-held town of Horlivka in eastern Ukraine, Horlivka prosecutor office said on Friday.
“Our troops are here, citizens are here,” he said, adding that “All of us are here protecting our independence of our country. And it will continue to be this way. Glory to our defenders, Glory to Ukraine, Glory to Heroes.”
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