Vladimir Putin’s 40-mile Column of Killing Machines Snake Through Ukraine – Ready to Unleash Carnage in Kyiv
- From Nick Parker
- In Lviv, Ukraine
- 22:35, 1 Mar 2022
- Updated: 22:36, 1 Mar 2022
A 40-MILE column of Vladimir Putin’s killing machines snakes through Ukraine yesterday — ready to unleash carnage in Kyiv.
Tanks and armoured vehicles, many towing artillery and mobile rocket launchers, had rumbled to within 17 miles of the besieged capital last night.
As missile attacks on Ukraine intensified, one strike hit the landmark Kyiv TV Tower and left at least five people dead.
The blast spread to the nearby site of the horrific Babyn Yar massacre, where Nazis executed 33,771 Jews in just two days in September 1941.
Debris damaged the memorial to the atrocity and prompted a furious response from Ukrainians.
The terrifying force now moving in on their capital is almost certain to fan out to encircle the city in the coming days before blasting its way through civilian neighbourhoods in a bloody final push.
But Ukraine’s hero president Volodymyr Zelenskyy remained defiant yesterday as he awaited the onslaught, declaring: “We will neutralise them all.”
Speaking from his bunker, he went on to deliver a moving appeal for support — and for his embattled nation to be fast-tracked for EU membership.
A translator could be heard struggling to fight back tears as Mr Zelenskyy accused Russia of state terrorism and war crimes.
And he said: “Prove that you are with us, prove that you will not let us go. Prove that you are indeed Europeans and then life will win over death and light will win over darkness.
“The EU will be much stronger with us. Without you, Ukraine will be alone.”
The former TV comic was given a standing ovation as he went on: “We are fighting also to be equal members of Europe.
“I believe that today we are showing everybody that is what we are. We have proven that, as a minimum, we are the same as you.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine was facing a further onslaught from northern neighbour Belarus after more weasel words from its Putin puppet president Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Just hours after he had insisted he would not take part in the war, his country’s parliament announced that the state was joining forces with Russian allies in Ukraine’s Chernihiv region.
Images also revealed ground force deployments and helicopter units in southern Belarus, less than 20 miles north of the Ukrainian border.
Belarus has even ditched its non-nuclear status — making way for a possible deployment of Russian nuclear weapons.
But outgunned Ukrainian soldiers and courageous reservists stood alongside freedom fighters stocked with Molotov cocktails last night, awaiting their enemy.
Makeshift barricades made of tyres, trucks and wheelie bins appeared at key intersections where defenders dug in for the night.
Russians rolling into the city will be greeted with a hail of bombs, bullets and British NLAW anti-tank missiles, as well as banners declaring: “Russian soldier, go to f***.”
It was reported many Russian conscripts had been brainwashed into expecting to be greeted with bouquets rather than bombs.
But as he manned a barricade, Kyiv bank worker Viktor Rudnichenko told The Sun: “The only flowers they might get from us will be for their grave.”
Frustrated Putin, who had been promised a new puppet government in Kyiv within five days by his cocky commanders, is feared to have authorised a reckless onslaught to crush the resistance.
He has been infuriated amid Ukrainian claims 5,710 Russian soldiers have been killed, and 200 taken prisoner.
SOME 33,771 Ukrainian Jews were killed by Nazis over 48 hours in Kyiv’s Babyn Yar World War Two massacre in 1941.
It was one of the biggest single slaughters of the Holocaust. A grim total of 100,000 Ukrainians eventually died there.
Men, women and children — the youngest just two weeks old — were rounded up, forced to strip and marched to a ravine.
The Nazis methodically executed the helpless victims with single shots from their fast-action pistols over two days. The bodies toppled into the ravine.
Recalling the scene at his trial years later, an SS commander spoke of the “indescribable wailing” echoing across the valley.
The following month 50,000 more Jews were slaughtered in the port of Odessa.
His enemy also announced that, as of yesterday morning, Russia had lost 29 planes, 29 helicopters, 198 tanks, 77 artillery systems, seven air defence systems, 24 mobile rocket launcher systems, 60 fuel tanks and two gunboats.
But the grim toll of civilian deaths in the carnage was rising, as officials reported 352 people had died including 16 children.
A further 2,040 civilians were said to have been wounded, including 45 children.