Russians flee Ukrainian ambush: Tanks rolling on Kyiv retreat after artillery barrage

10 March 2022, 10:14 | Updated: 10 March 2022, 14:01

An armoured column was hit by Ukrainian forces (left) before the tanks were forced to retreat
An armoured column was hit by Ukrainian forces (left) before the tanks were forced to retreat. Picture: Ukrainian Armed Forces/Twitter

By Will Taylor

Russian tanks have been advancing to the west and east of Kyiv but were repelled by an onslaught by Ukrainian defenders.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Aerial footage that emerged today shows a devastating attack by the defenders on Russian forces advancing on Kyiv.

A line of Russian heavy armour was pummelled in a hail of explosions from an artillery barrage, forcing it to retreat.

Vadym Denysenko, adviser to Ukraine's interior ministry, said defending forces had managed to stop the attack in Irpin and had launched a counter attack.

A missile launcher capable of carrying thermobaric warheads was among the convoy of armour that was attacked. Russia has admitted it has used the powerful vacuum bombs in its invasion of Ukraine, that are capable of vaporising human bodies.

In an apparent further sign of setback, Moscow has now been forced to deploy conscripts, despite Vladimir Putin saying he would not do so, according to Britain's Ministry of Defence [MoD].

Its latest update comes after a child and two others died in a Russian strike on a maternity hospital in southern Ukraine, and amid warnings that the Kremlin could be planning a "false flag" attack involving chemical weapons.

Read more: Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich among seven oligarchs hit with sanctions

Read more: Three dead including child as Russia accused of war crime for strike on maternity unit

Russia's invasion has been hampered by a determined Ukrainian defence and logistics issues.

An update from the MoD said: "The large Russian column north west of Kyiv has made little progress in over a week and is suffering continued losses at the hands of the Ukrainian Armed Forces."

Kyiv's ability so strike bunched-up formations has been demonstrated in video footage released by the Ukrainian Armed Forces Twitter account, which appears to show a Russian armoured column getting hit.

Armoured vehicles are seen taking explosive fire before scrambling to flee from a village, which appears to be in the north-east part of the Brovary area, north-east of Kyiv.

The stretch is one of the axes of advance Russian forces are marking in an apparent bid to encircle Kyiv, the capital.

The clip shows smouldering wrecks strewn across the landscape.

Read more: Russia admits using fearsome thermobaric bomb that can vaporise human bodies

Read more: Brit soldiers have 'disobeyed orders and gone AWOL' to fight in Ukraine

The British MoD added in its update: "There has been a notable decrease in overall Russian air activity over Ukraine in recent days, likely due to to the unexpected effectiveness and endurance of Ukrainian Air Defence forces.

"Russia has deployed conscript troops to Ukraine despite previous public assurances from President Putin not to do so.

"As casualties mount, President Putin will be forced to draw from across the Russian Armed Forces and other sources to replace his losses."

It was warned that with temperatures having been forecast to plummet – potentially feeling as cold as 20C – Russian tanks that are bogged down could effectively become armoured "fridges".

The White House said it was on the lookout for "Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false flag operation using them" after making false claims about the US and chemical warfare.

Russia was accused of war crimes after striking a maternal hospital in Mariupol, on Wednesday, which left a child and two others dead.