Thoughts from Kyiv – evening March 15
Tonight Ukraine’s capital is tense. Whether due to actual intelligence, or because of intuition and suspicion, residents are expecting heightened artillery and rocket attacks on Kyiv during the next 36 hours.
Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klitschko announced that the normal nightly curfew has been extended to include the daylight hours of tomorrow. Curfew will end in the morning of March 17. Throughout tonight, tomorrow and tomorrow night, residents have been asked to stay in their apartments and homes unless there is a need to move to a bombshelter.
Apparently, city and central government officials suspect that during this period, in addition to firing salvos from the sky, the Russians may attempt to infiltrate reconnaissance groups into Kyiv. If such an attempt is made, the Russians will be destroyed on the outskirts, but nevertheless their presence within the city limits is worrisome. It is important that civilians are not caught in any potential crossfire.
Kyiv is extremely well protected on the ground. Any advance of heavy equipment or large troop formations will most certainly be stopped by the Armed Forces and/or Territorial Defenders. But a great many buildings could be damaged or destroyed in the process.
As always, our greatest threat is from the sky: in the past, airstrikes and missiles have been fended off by Kyiv’s excellent surface-to-air defense systems, but the onslaught this time is likely to be more intense.
Other Ukrainian cities are not as well protected as the capital and we see the result: Mariupol, Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, Mykolayiv. Civilian targets in these urban centers have been heavily targeted by Russian rockets and bombs. The aftermath has been devastating.
Tonight and tomorrow we expect the Russians to intensify their destruction of our cities throughout Ukraine – in all regions.
As I write these words, President Zelensky has just completed his video address to the Canadian Parliament. That was met with a very long standing ovation from MP’s of all parties. Tomorrow he addresses a joint session of the United States Congress.
I’ll quote our son Bohdan’s reaction after watching today’s live feed from Ottawa (he also watched the reaction to Zelensky’s speeches in London and in Strasbourg): “ovations are great, but what about closing our sky?”
This is Russia’s last gasp. Ukraine will prevail (no doubt), but much will be destroyed and many lives will be lost in the process.
Close the sky!!!