Ukrainian forces fought back attempted Russian advances on the outskirts of Kyiv today as the UK promised to send more defensive weapons to the country.
Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said skirmishes had intensified on the outskirts of the capital, with Ukrainian forces allegedly securing “the small city of Makariv and almost all of Irpin”.
Russia’s stalling invasion has made little progress in recent weeks, with ground troops unable to take major cities like Kyiv or Kharkiv, however intense shelling has led to widespread civilian casualties across the country.
“We would rather die than kneel in front of the Russians or surrender to the invaders,” Klitschko said.
It comes as Boris Johnson tonight announced the UK would provide a further 6,000 defensive missiles to the Ukrainian army, a day before meeting with Nato leaders in Brussels.
The Prime Minister said the UK “cannot and will not stand by while Russia grinds Ukraine’s towns and cities into dust”.
“One month into this crisis, the international community faces a choice. We can keep the flame of freedom alive in Ukraine, or risk it being snuffed out across Europe and the world,” he said.
Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance would also provide “additional support” to Ukraine, including equipment to “protect against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats”.
“Any use of chemical weapons would totally change the nature of the conflict … and have far-reaching consequences,” he said.
There are fears that Russia is preparing to use chemical weapons against civilians, with Ukraine alleging that Vladimir Putin’s troops have already dropped white phosphorus on some targets.
Joe Biden said there was a “real threat” of Russia using chemical weapons in their invasion, after they were employed by Putin’s army in Syria.