Ukraine Retakes Makariv From Russian Forces As Invasion Falters

Ukraine has said that its troops raised the country's flag in a town in the Kyiv region after driving out Russian forces.

On Monday Ukraine said that Makariv, about 30 miles west of Kyiv's center, had been "liberated from the invaders thanks to the heroic actions of our defenders."

The statement by Ukraine's defense ministry comes amid analysis that Russian plans to storm Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, were faltering.

"The state flag of Ukraine was raised over the city of Makarov," the ministry said, using the Russian spelling of the town's name. "The enemy was driven back."

Ukrainian news outlet Unian cited Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Forces, Lieutenant General Valery Zaluzhny as saying that Ukrainian forces had liberated the town on March 2, but it was lost to Russian forces before being regained again on Monday.

Chairman of the Kyiv regional military administration Alexander Pavlyuk said Makariv, which had been under heavy Russian fire on Monday morning, was one of the most dangerous areas of the Kyiv region.

An assessment on Monday by Britain's Ministry of Defence (MOD) found that while heavy fighting continues north of Kyiv, "Russian forces advancing on the city from the northeast have stalled."

The MOD said that Russian troops advancing from Hostomel to the northwest of the capital had been "repulsed by fierce Ukrainian resistance" and that "the bulk" of Russian forces were more than 16 miles from the city center.

"Despite the continued lack of progress, Kyiv remains Russia's primary military objective" and invading forces would try to encircle the capital, "in the coming weeks."

However, military expert Michael Kofman, who is the director of Russia Studies at the CNA thinktank, told the War on the Rocks podcast that the Russian attempt to encircle the Ukrainian capital looks to have failed.

"I think at this point it would be reasonable to say…that they are not in a position to attack Kyiv, they are not in a position to encircle it," Kofman said.

The Ukrainian defense ministry said in its statement that Russian forces were continuing to target infrastructure in the Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Donetsk regions and expected further missile and bomb strikes using artillery, aircraft and high-precision weapons.

Kyiv also said that Russia "temporarily" holds a land corridor to occupied Crimea and is blocking access to the Sea of ​​Azov, while Ukrainian forces continued to fight Russian forces in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Ukraine has rejected the Russian-issued deadline for authorities in Mariupol to surrender the southern city, which has been under constant attack by Moscow's forces.

The assault has included deadly strikes on a maternity ward and separate bombings of a theater and school, where hundreds of people were sheltering. Kyiv has accused Russian forces of blocking evacuation routes.

Newsweek has contacted the Russian defense ministry for comment.

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Kyiv destruction
Ukrainian servicemen are seen at the explosion site after a rocket strike on a shopping mall on March 21, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. On Monday Ukraine's defense ministry said it had liberated the town of Makariv in the Kyiv region. Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images