Ukraine Update: 25 February, 2022 (AM)

We are at a point now where Kiev’s life expectancy is being measured in hours instead of days or weeks. A second Russian effort to gain control of Hostomel Airport northwest of the capital city has been successful, 24 hours after the initial assault was defeated. This morning, a larger airmobile force struck the airport and seized it. The move, in conjunction with progress made by the Russian effort to the north out of Belarus, has effectively flanked Kiev from the west. Kiev’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said the city is now entering a ‘defensive phase.’ A number of Russian saboteurs and special operations troops have been attempting to infiltrate the city in order to create havoc.

In the early morning hours, the capital city was struck by several Russian missiles and air attacks. Explosions rocked the darkness and an aircraft crashed into a residential area of the city. Unfortunately, the aircraft was a Ukrainian Su-27 fighter.  By all accounts, the Ukrainian Air Force has lost control of the air. Fantasy tales about the ‘Ghost of Kiev’ aside, the Ukrainian Air Force is in a difficult spot right now and its leaders really need to think about sending its surviving combat aircraft out of the country while the time remains to do so.

News from the east and south is little better. Minutes ago, it was learned that Russian forces have broken through the Ukrainian defenses at Kherson and are now moving to exploit the success before the Ukrainians can try to seal off the penetration.

A Russian amphibious landing is underway west of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov. Details on the situation are few. It is not clear if the Russians or Ukrainians are in control of the city proper and surrounding area, despite a number of videos making the rounds on social media that suggest Russian troops control at least part of the city. The arrival of the Russian force from the sea could very well prove to be the final nail in the coffin of any Ukrainian forces remaining in the city.

Things are happening much faster now. As a result, for the next 24 hours or so the Ukraine Update posts are only going to be able to provide glimpses of what’s taking place.

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