Ukraine push Russian troops out of Kyiv in sign resistance are crushing Putin's shambolic forces

UKRAINIAN troops have pushed Russian forces out of Kyiv in a sign the fierce resistance is crushing Vladimir Putin's shambolic invasion.

Ukraine is close to securing a major victory after managing to reoccupy towns and defensive positions up to 21 miles east of the capital.

Putin’s troops have been hit by plummeting morale after the quick victory promised by the tyrant has turned into a bloodbath in the face of Ukrainian resistance.

The UK's Ministry of Defence said: "Ukrainian counter-attacks, and Russian forces falling back on overextended supply lines, has allowed Ukraine to reoccupy towns and defensive positions up to 35 kilometres east of Kyiv.

"Ukrainian forces are likely to continue to attempt to push Russian forces back along the north-western axis from Kyiv towards Hostomel Airfield.

"In the south of Ukraine, Russian forces are still attempting to circumvent Mykolaiv as they look to drive west towards Odesa, with their progress being slowed by logistic issues and Ukrainian resistance."

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British defence officials said there was now a "realistic possibility" that Ukrainian forces would encircle the towns of Bucha and Irpin – which have been partially occupied by Russian forces.

The ministry said Russian troops are facing "considerable supply and morale issues" and it was unlikely they would be able to regroup and capture Kyiv.

Ukraine is now littered with the burnt out wrecks of Russian tanks and armoured vehicles, charred remains of downed aircraft, and the dead bodies of soldiers – many of who were teenage conscripts.

As the fighting takes its toll on Russian troops, stories are beginning to emerge of anger and plummeting morale.

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One soldier allegedly drove his tank into his commanding officer as he protested horrific losses among his comrades.

Colonel Yuri Medvedev was hospitalised with severe leg injuries after the reported incident.

Russia accidentally revealed it has lost 10,000 troops, when the figure was disclosed by a pro-Kremlin newspaper.

But NATO has said that figure could be as high as 15,000 with the total losses including wounded, captured or missing up to 40,000.

If the estimate is correct, then Russian losses in just under a month in Ukraine are now the same as they suffered during their ten year war in Afghanistan, which ended in 1989.

President Volodymyr Zelensky urged his country to keep up its military defence and not stop "even for a minute".

He used his nightly video address to rally Ukrainians to "move toward peace, move forward".

He said: "With every day of our defence, we are getting closer to the peace that we need so much.

"We can't stop even for a minute, for every minute determines our fate, our future, whether we will live."

In the eastern city of Kharkiv, about half the population has left – and food and other essentials are dwindling for those who stay behind.

Kharkiv has been under siege by Russian forces since the start of the invasion, with relentless shelling forcing people to sleep in metro stations and basements.

And on the outskirts of the city of Dnipro, rescuers were searching for survivors among the debris on Friday after two Russian missiles hit a Ukrainian military unit – causing "serious destruction".

Elsewhere, in besieged Mariupol, Ukraine hopes to open a safe corridor to evacuate civilians on Friday in private vehicles, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

Meanwhile, Russia said it has wiped out the largest remaining military fuel storage site in Ukraine – hitting it with the Kalibr sea-based cruise missiles.

"On the evening of March 24, Kalibr high-precision sea-based cruise missiles attacked a fuel base in the village of Kalynivka near Kyiv," the Russian defence ministry said.

It comes as Ukraine accused Moscow of forcibly removing hundreds of thousands of civilians from shattered Ukrainian cities to Russia to pressure Kyiv to give up.

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Lyudmyla Denisova, Ukraine's ombudsperson, said 402,000 people – including 84,000 children – had been taken against their will into Russia, where some may be used as hostages to pressure Kyiv to surrender.

The Kremlin gave nearly identical numbers for those who have been taken – but claimed they were mostly from Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine and wanted to go to Russia.

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