Ukrainian military stops Russian tanks as invasion slower than Moscow hoped

In this photo provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, Russian tanks roll on the field during military drills in Leningrad region, Russia. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

The Ukrainian military destroyed a Russian tank column, seen marked with the letter V in video posted online, as the convoy tanks was heading towards Kyiv.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov, reported the destruction of a convoy of Chechen special forces between Hostomel and Bucha, towns about two miles apart in the Kyiv Oblast.

“Bucha. The column of Russian-fascist occupiers was liquidated. The equipment of the occupiers with the letter V burns as well as everything else, ” Gerashchenko said.

The column was reportedly deployed by Russia to ‘capture and kill’ Ukraine’s leaders, including President Zelensky, using the infamous ‘deck of cards’ system.

Ukrainian military forces were successful in destroying a Chechen special forces column of 56 tanks near the capital of Kyiv on Saturday, Ukrainian news agency The Kyiv Independent reported.

According to the report, which the outlet said was confirmed by the Ukrainian President’s Office, the attack killed top Chechen General Magomed Tushayev, head of the 141 motorized regiment of the Chechnya National Guard.

The report was not independently verified, but a YouTube video showed the aftermath of an attack that described, “Armed Forces chased after column V in the Kyiv region. They caught up. Destroyed a column of Russian equipment in the Kiev region.”

The Chechen special forces, referred to as “Kadyrovites,” after Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, were reportedly deployed by Russia to “capture and kill” Ukrainian leaders, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to the Daily Mail.

There were reports claiming that every soldier in the Chechen force was given a deck of cards with pictures of Ukrainian officials the Kremlin had deemed high-value targets, a tool infamously deployed by the United States while hunting down officials of Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq.

However, the convoy of 56 tanks was obliterated only a couple of days into its mission by Ukrainian missile fire near Hostomel or Gostomel, which is a town in Ukraine’s Kyiv Oblast, north-western suburb to the capital city.

The death toll caused by the attack was unknown as of Sunday, but was alleged to reach the hundreds.

City officials in Kyiv said Sunday the capital remained under the control of Ukrainian forces despite clashes with “sabotage groups.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly expressed frustration over the stalled invasion, with Western officials warning of possible indiscriminate use of weapons by the Russian military if the Kremlin’s timetable is not met.

“Magomed Tushayev, the leader of the 141st Kadyrov Guards Motorized Regiment, was killed,” said a post on Twitter from the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Meanwhile, Russian troops managed to break into Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv early Sunday, leading to armed clashes in several locations throughout the city.

Regional administration chief Oleg Sinegubov wrote on Facebook that “the Russian enemy’s light vehicles broke into the city” and urged residents not to leave shelters.

“The Ukrainian armed forces are eliminating the enemy,” he wrote.

Ukrainian military successes were offset by reports that said Russian forces have entered Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, after failing in their efforts to seize control of the capital city of Kyiv.

Footage shared on social media Sunday morning showed Putin’s army trucks rolling through Kharkiv, a city of 1.41 million people, close to the border with Russia in Eastern Ukraine.

Soldiers were also seen marching through Kharkiv on foot, with a very dramatic clip showing Russians slowly advancing along a road before running and firing their guns as Ukrainians opened fire on them.

Another clip shared online shows an army vehicle said to belong to the Russians ablaze, with locals saying it had been torched by Ukrainians seeking to defend their city.

Oleh Sinehubov, head of the Kharkiv regional administration, said Ukrainian forces are fighting Russian troops in the city and asked civilians not to leave their homes.

Putin plans to overthrow Ukraine’s government and replace it with a puppet regime, reviving Moscow’s Cold War-era influence.

Lithuania’s National Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas said losses to the Russian occupation forces over the past three days include 27 aircraft, 26 helicopters, 149 tanks, 706 armored fighting vehicles and about 4,300 soldiers killed and wounded.

India, China and the United Arab Emirates did not vote on a UN Security Council resolution that deplored Moscow’s “aggression” against Ukraine. Russia vetoed the resolution, which would have demanded that Moscow immediately stop its attack on Ukraine and withdraw all troops.

“You can veto this resolution, but you cannot veto our voices; You cannot veto the truth; You cannot veto our principles; You cannot veto the Ukrainian people; cannot veto the UN Charter…and you will not veto accountability,” said US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

UK Ambassador Dame Barbara Woodward described how women and children in Kyiv, pensioners in Odessa and people all over Ukraine are “sheltering from Russia’s onslaught.”

The British diplomat said that the draft resolution sent “a message to the world that the rules we built together must be defended,” despite Russia’s veto and lack of unanimity.

Moreover, President Vladimir Putin’s “massive invasion” of Ukraine to remove the Government is “a naked aggression” that must be condemned, Woodward asserted.

“Make no mistake, Russia is isolated, it has no support for the invasion of Ukraine,” Woodward said, noting that history would record what had happened today, and that the United Kingdom “stands firmly in support” of the Ukrainian people and would hold Russia accountable for its actions.

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