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'The Russian Army Is Stalled': Ukrainian Forces Offer Fierce Resistance, Beating the Odds

Randy Mancini 2 Mar 17

Blinken said the U.S. is concerned that Putin may soon resort to brutal new tactics like using biological weapons, bringing in more foreign mercenary fighters, and kidnapping more local officials. 

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According to the UK Ministry of Defense, Russia's invasion has largely been halted by the Ukrainian resistance. British military intelligence says Moscow's forces have suffered heavy losses and made very little progress on land, sea, or air in recent days. 

"The Russian army is stalled. The Ukrainian military has been able to stop its movement towards Kyiv, and towards most of the big cities. So the Ukrainian military has done what no one expected it to do," said former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor.

Ukrainian forces are now going on the offensive, focused not only on pushing Moscow's troops back from Kyiv, but also staging counterattacks to the South and East. 

An attack on Tuesday against Russian-held Kherson International Airport appears to have destroyed at least three Russian helicopters. 

Still, Russian airstrikes are pummeling Ukrainian cities. Among the latest targets was a theatre in Mariupol sheltering hundreds of civilians, mostly children and women. Satellite images from before the attack show the word "CHILDREN" written on the streets on either side of the building in Russian, easily visible from the sky. Authorities say there are survivors. No word yet on the number of deaths. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is pleading with the West to do more. Following an emotional appeal to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, he spoke before Germany's parliament, saying the future of Europe is at stake, and Western governments are failing to meet the moment. 

Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with NBC's Lester Holt, Zelenskyy said Russia will ultimately lose.

"Our people are unconquerable and this is what our people have clearly demonstrated. You can conquer the city, you can break the heart, but you won't be able to force anyone to love someone. That is why the heart will always remain with Ukrainians," Zelenskyy told Holt.

Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, is beginning a new crackdown inside Russia, targeting anyone who shows sympathy to the Western way of life. 

"But any people, and even more so the Russian people, will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and simply spit them out like a fly that accidentally flew into the mouth, spit them out. I am convinced that such a natural and necessary cleansing of society will only strengthen our country," Putin said during a speech Wednesday.

The U.S. is calling on Putin's allies in China to do more to condemn the invasion. President Biden has a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday, and is expected to warn him that there will be consequences if he comes to Putin's aid. 

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