Assessment: Putin encircles Ukraine capital and could seize control in 96 hours after taking Chernobyl, with scores dead while Macron pleads with Kremlin to step back from the abyss on Day 1 of Europe’s new war …
- US security officials fear Kyiv will fall in 96 hours and the government will be toppled within a week
- Russian forces have sized control of Chernobyl, with video revealing tanks parked in front of the reactor
- Came after ‘fierce’ battle with condition of nuclear waste storage facilities ‘unknown’, Ukraine said
- Meanwhile NATO-member Turkey said one of its ships was hit by a ‘bomb’ near Odessa – underlining fears that the alliance could easily get sucked into the conflict and spark all-out war in Europe
- Citizens in Kyiv have been rushed to shelters, after the government warned Russia will soon bomb the city
(rockets hit Kiev overnight)
After midnight on Thursday evening, Zelensky said his country had been ‘left alone’ to defend itself against Russia and said other world leaders were ‘afraid’ to intervene.
He had earlier told other world leaders: ‘If you don’t help us now, if you fail to offer strong assistance to Ukraine, tomorrow the war will knock on your door.’
A source close to the Ukrainian government said they agreed that Kyiv will be surrounded within 96 hours but believed the government will stay strong and not collapse.
In a bid to thwart the imminent capture of the city, Emmanuel Macron spoke to Vladimir Putin tonight, who gave the French leader an ‘exhaustive’ explanation of his justification for war.
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