By William Miller, special correspondent in Ukraine. Eurasia Business News, March 5, 2022, last update on March 15, 2022

Evacuation of civilians from Irpin, in the northern suburbs of Kyiv, March 5 2022.

On the 10th day of Russia’s military operation against Ukraine, Kyiv is on the defensive. Russian troops and equipment could not break into the Ukrainian capital, but their artillery continue to fire. Heavy fights have been reported in the cities on the outskirts of Kyiv, but Ukrainians managed to repel Russians.

Amid fierce battles in the suburbs of Kyiv, the Ukrainian military managed to take some of the local residents out of the combat zone. Today, March 5, the Ukrainian army evacuated a large number of civilians from the small city of Irpin, north of Kyiv. The mayor of the city personally led this operation. Residents were transported by buses to the railway station of Kiev or to another point to which they would like to reach. People crossed the destroyed bridge from the city of Irpin during shelling and bombing. Two thousands of civilians have been evacuated.

The Ukrainian military had to blow up bridges on the approaches to the capital to prevent columns of Russian tanks from breaking into Kyiv. The suburb has come under the control of the Russian troops several times over the past week, but the captured territories are still quickly recaptured by Ukrainian forces, after fierce fights.

It was announced in the evening that Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite system is already in Kyiv. According to the mayor of the city Vitali Klitschko, “Starlink will work to help ensure the work of the critical infrastructure of the city and the defense of the capital.” A batch of 12 devices of the global satellite system have been delivered.

Klitschko said that the Kyiv City Council approved an appeal to foreign states to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine. The mayor also spoke about how the Ukrainian capital lives and functions now. According to him, the civilian infrastructure of Kyiv works. The metro work in a limited mode. Hospitals and maternity hospitals continue working so far.

The former boxing champion added that “The city of Kyiv is fortified against a Russian attack. Ukrainian army, territorial defence, police, other powers are ready and we will protect the capital.”

Russia launched a military operation at 04:00 in the morning of February 24, with the official goal to “demilitarize Ukraine”, remove the Ukrainian government and protect the right of Russian leaving in Eastern Ukraine. In a televised address to the Russians, President Vladimir Putin said that circumstances “require decisive and immediate action from us, the people’s republics of Donbass  have asked for help.” 

The Western countries strongly condemned the Russian attack against Ukraine, and demanded an immediate ceasefire. After the Russian recognition of the separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk on February 21 and the entry of Russian troops in the Ukrainian territory in early morning on February 24, the United States and European countries have imposed massive sanctions against Russian state-owned banks, banned technology exports to Russia, denied access to Russia to the US financial market and imposed individual sanctions on Russian officials and their relatives. The European Union has even taken sanctions against the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov.

More than 1.45 million people have left Ukraine since Russia attacked on February 24, with most headed for Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. This is the largest movement of civilians in Europe since World War II.

On the 15th day of war, although Russian troops have managed to achieve some success in the south of Ukraine, the main centers of resistance remain the same as at the very beginning of hostilities – these are Kharkov, Mariupol and the suburbs of Kiev. However, experts predict that very soon a “new wave of offensive of the Russian army” may begin.

On March 10, Ukrainian State Emergency Service reported that 2,664 cars and 54 buses left Sumy, Trostyanets and Krasnopillya. In total, more than 12 thousand people have been evacuated from war zones.

The European Commission, led by Ursula von der Leyen, today proposed a plan to abandon Europe’s Russian oil, coal and gas by 2030.

In the evening, U.S. President Joe Biden had a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the situation in Ukraine.

In addition, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that he does not see the possibility of Ukraine’s rapid accession to the EU.

Update to come.

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