As RedState reported earlier on Friday, Vladimir Putin’s plan to overtake Ukraine is not going particularly well. The four-pronged attack has stretched supply lines thin and weakened Russia’s ability to strike the decisive blow it was looking for. Particularly, Russian plans to capture Kyiv’s capital have been thwarted and there is now a major problem facing Russian forces that are trying to start a civil war in their face.
Numerous airborne attempts to seize the city by force have failed. Ukraine now has a significant advantage, having shot down an Il-76 transport airplane. With its 126 paratroopers capacity and all indications that the aircraft was fully loaded, Russian forces continue to suffer far greater deaths than those before the invasion.
Ukraine’s Air Defense downed a Russian Ilyushin II-76 carrying a landing force near Vasylkiv south of Kyiv
— Illia Ponomarenko (@IAPonomarenko) February 25, 2022
Video Friday that was followed showed how the Ukrainians downed a Russian Sukhoi fighter.
On the first day of the invasion, Putin declared that Russia had neutralized Ukraine’s air defense systems. The shootdown as well as photographic evidence has proven this false claim. As a matter of clarification, Babak Taghvaee is absolutely reliable regarding the Ukraine conflict as well as conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan. If there’s one account to follow for on-the-ground updates during times of war and unrest, it’s this one.
What do you think? #RussiaAir Force fears that its fighter jets will be flown over #Kiev & #Kharkiv? Because the tacical air defence systems #Ukraine Air Force & Army. They’re everywhere They are always changing their position every hour! pic.twitter.com/qrAcw735WY
— Babak Taghvaee – Μπάπακ Τακβαίε – بابک تقوایی (@BabakTaghvaee) February 25, 2022
The question is going to be how far Putin is willing to go to achieve his goals because it’s now obvious they aren’t going to come easy. People in Kyiv are armed and there’s no evidence that Ukrainians might surrender. Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, issued another warning to his citizens about how difficult tomorrow would be. However they should prevail.
Zelensky warns Russia will storm Kyiv tonight in “vile, cruel and inhuman” fashion.
“We have to persevere tonight. Ukraine’s fate is now being determined. It will be difficult night, and very painful morning. pic.twitter.com/8bioVWKDaA
— max seddon (@maxseddon) February 25, 2022
What willingness is an average Russian soldier to fire on large numbers of civilians in order to make a killing? Because that’s what it’s going to take to capture Kyiv. Admittedly, I’m not sure what the answer to that question is. Russian forces are not the Taliban, and I don’t believe even Putin himself wants to further provoke the West by committing highly visible war crimes. While some like to describe him as irrational, nothing in Putin’s history says that. He’s dancing a fine line right now, but if he pushes too far, he could invite a response that he would not prefer to deal with.
The obvious caveats still apply. Just because the Ukrainians appear to be scoring some victories and holding the line for now based on social media reports, that doesn’t mean Russia won’t eventually overtake them. It is likely that this negotiations will lead to some sort of settlement. Certainly, there won’t be a clean, decisive victory for either side.