The last time that Russian forces fought their way into Kyiv was the autumn of 1943, when the Red Army crossed the Dnieper river and seized the city from Nazi Germany. On November 4th that year, German defences collapsed and Soviet tanks poured into the Ukrainian capital. Almost 80 years on, Russian armoured forces are back.
For a siege to be effective it also has to block all entries and exits to a city, “otherwise you will see continued influx of weapons, supplies and reinforcements,” says Rita Konaev of Georgetown University. Russia learned that lesson during the first Chechen war, in the mid-1990s, she says: “We will be seeing a more extensive aerial and artillery bombardment campaign before anything else.”
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