Should invading Russian forces continue their movement towards Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, they will reach the outer suburbs of that city within the next two days, Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) intelligence chief Col. Margo Grosberg said Wednesday.
Speaking at a defense ministry press conference Wednesday, Col. Grosberg said: "If the Russian troops move forward at the same pace, it will be two days before they reach the suburbs of Kiev, followed by an operation to isolate and completely detain Kiev and start applying pressure."
"The relatively indiscriminate bombing of civilian infrastructure continued overnight. Kharkiv was hit by both precision hits and artillery fire. Kiev was attacked primarily with precision weapons, especially Iskander missiles," he added.
Grosberg noted that cutting off the capital is easy, but entering and controlling it is a different story, thought, given recent activity by Russian forces in the past 24 hours, it can be concluded that the main goal is still to at least isolate Kyiv.
The types of forces, including long-range artillery, concentrated in the vicinity of the city, give credence to this view, he said.
Meanwhile the eastern city of Kharkiv has been hit by massive amounts of long-range fire, he added, with city government and police headquarters hit – footage of the first of these being hit by a cruise missile have been widely reported in the international media.
Nonetheless, of hopeful signs, the sheer unpreparedness and poor quality of some of the captured Russian troops stands out with regard to Kharkiv, Grosberg noted.
The unit was likely from the Donbass region, and was capture around 100km from Kharkiv.
The PoWs were mostly people mobilized from the civilian world and included officers, he added.
"They were ordinary people: French teachers, locksmiths, welders and the like, which demonstrates that the Russian military machine has serious staff shortages," he said.
To the South, unfortunately, things are not so good, with the port city of Mariupol practically under siege, with fierce fighting going on there, at Kherson and in the cities of Melitopol and Mykolaiv.
Mykolaiv is an important point for Russian forces as a way-stage for pushing towards another port, Odessa, Grosberg said.
While troops from Belarus have not yet been deployed, for reasons unknown, there is a high risk that at some point they will, Grosberg noted.
Editor: Andrew Whyte