Russian troops are closing in on the seat of Ukrainian power after taking control of the strategic Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and will seize it within 96 hours, bringing a ‘new Iron Curtain’ down on Europe, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky warned, Daily Mail reported.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Vladimir Putin plans to encircle Ukrainian forces in Kyiv and force them to either surrender or be destroyed, and the leadership of Ukraine could then fall in a week, the report said.
A former senior US intelligence officer told Newsweek: ‘After the air and artillery end and the ground war really starts, I think Kyiv falls in just a few days.
‘The military may last slightly longer but this isn’t going to last long.’
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, Daily Mail reported.
In a bid to thwart the imminent capture of the city, Emmanuel Macron spoke to Vladimir Putin on Thursday night, who gave the French leader an ‘exhaustive’ explanation of his justification for war.
The Kremlin said the call took place at Macron’s initiative, and he and Putin agreed to stay in contact.
Zelensky has also signed a decree on the general mobilisation of the population within 90 days, but men aged 18-60 are banned from leaving the country, the report said.