Russian Paratroopers Land in and Capture Kiev Suburbs: Drive Out Local Militias and Military

In the early hours of March 21 Russian paratroopers gained considerable ground in the suburbs of Kiev, clashing with local military forces and militia units and gaining an important foothold near the Ukrainian capital. "Units of the Russian Airborne Forces forced nationalist battalions and the Ukrainian military out of the Kiev suburbs, who, retreating, left tanks, AMPVs, a lot of firearms, anti-tank weapons, and ammunition", the Russian Defence Ministry reported on the gains made. Armaments captured included T-64 and T-72 tanks, German-supplied Panzerfaust 3 anti-tank weapons, and a number of air defence systems. The development follows the cutting off of Ukraine’s access to the Sea of Azov, and elimination of its airbases and air defences as the war approaches the end of its first month. Russian forces have consolidated considerable gains in eastern Ukraine, with control of the skies expected to make a push further into Kiev easier should this be the Defence Ministry’s intention. With the Ukrainian capital located far to the west, near a source of supplies from the Polish border and in a region where pro Western sentiments remain higher, the city is expected to be more difficult to capture than other major population centres in the country. 

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