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Zelensky Aides Film Coffee Run in Kiev as Russian Troops Close In

As Russian forces encroach on Kiev, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his team continue to project an image of confidence in dire circumstances.

On Saturday, Mikhail Podolyak, a senior adviser to Zelensky, tweeted a video of himself and two others on a coffee run in the beleaguered city. According to a label in the tweet, one of the other men was Ukrainian Parliament Majority Leader David Arakhamia. Throughout the 26-second video, all three seem cheerful and at ease.

“Kiev is always beautiful,” Podolyak wrote. “Even in times of war… [President Zelensky’s] the team is permanently at the workplace.”

In a similar show of confidence, Zelensky, responding to Russian rumors that he had fled, shared two videos of himself on Tuesday, showing him still in his office in the capital.

“I’m not hiding,” he wrote on Facebook. “And I’m not afraid of anyone.”

Saturday, Newsweek reported that according to Western intelligence sources, Russian military forces are currently working to encircle the capital. Sources within the U.S. government also previously said Newsweek that the country’s resistance to the Russian invasion would likely end if Kiev fell.

Satellite images taken on Friday appeared to show the beleaguered 40-mile-long Russian convoy north of Kiev had dispersed widely and moved to smaller towns and forests after the column was blocked due to trouble supply for a week.

A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted a video of himself and two other aides on a coffee run in Kyiv on Saturday. Above, Ukrainian servicemen patrol a security checkpoint on February 25 in Kyiv.
Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images

“Elements of the large Russian column north of Kiev have dispersed”, the British Ministry of Defense tweeted on Saturday. “This is likely to support a Russian attempt to encircle the city. It could also be an attempt by Russia to reduce its vulnerability to Ukrainian counterattacks, which have taken a heavy toll on Russian forces. Beyond Kyiv , the cities of Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mariupol remain surrounded and continue to come under heavy Russian bombardment.”

US officials were less inclined to attribute to convoy movements. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby suggested on Friday that the moves could be a response to the constant attacks on the convoy by Ukrainian forces.

Social media posts indicated that two nearby oil depots Vasylkiv air base, located south of Kiev, was on fire after Russian missile strikes.


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