Battle of Kyiv Thread 1/

The Battle of Kyiv was decisive battle in Ukraine War that Russia launced invading on Feb 24, 2022. Russian assault on Kyiv was catastrophic military failure, overwhelming victory for Ukraine

Battle ended 31 March with total retreat

This is summary
Battle of Kyiv Thread 2/

Because of Social Media, we have a unique ability to reconstruct history in near-real time, to know EXACTLY what happened and WHEN. And sort out the lies, propaganda and 'fog of war'. Not WHILE it happens, but very shortly thereafter

This is my attempt
Battle of Kyiv Thread 3/

During the battle we cannot know WHICH of the social media postings is accurate, even to the best honest efforts of those posting (because it could have been misunderstanding or a deliberate military diversion, intended to get attention). But after..
Battle of Kyiv Thread 4/

But after a battle, we can see what had actually happened, who won, who lost. Where the battle was fought. And we can tell quite well, which parts of the original postings were ACCURATE - and then collect the best TRUE history of what happened
Battle of Kyiv Thread 5/

This is SIGNIFICANTLY better than reading or viewing the BEST news sources that were CONTEMPORARY because those were always subject to the same current analysis errors. Not knowing the big picture and the full story. Now we know

Let me tell you a story
Battle of Kyiv Thread 6/

We know NOW that yes, Putin had a 4 hours plan to win the war in Ukraine

And his 'Plan B' was a 3 days plan to defeat Kyiv if the 4 hours plan somehow failed

He deployed both of these plans with MASSIVE military force, against Kyiv. We now know how
Battle of Kyiv Thread 7/


Yes. There was a plan to defeat Ukraine in 'four hours'. It could have worked. Russia (=Soviet Union) used this in Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia (1968) and Afghanistan (1979). Seize the capital, take the TV/radio, & declare on TV you won
Battle of Kyiv Thread 8/

Putin plan to defeat Ukraine in 4 hours involved an air assault force of 1,000 men taking Antonov Airport at Hostomel, then IL 76 transport planes would land 7,000 men and their armored vehicles, to take the Presidential Palace (& TV stations) in Kyiv
Battle of Kyiv Thread 9/

This bold plan to defeat Ukraine in 4 hours might have worked. Russia had done that before when toppling a government. About 30 Mil 17 transport helicopters and their escort helicopters attacked at dawn of Feb 24 & assaulted Antonov Airport
Battle of Kyiv Thread 10/


The first battle of the Ukraine War and first battle in the Battle for Kyiv was the Battle of Antonov Airport, 24-25 Feb 2022. Initial assault force arrived at dawn in about 30 Mil 17 helicopters & their attack helicopters
Battle of Kyiv Thread 11/

The assault force had airborne troops from either 11th or 35th Guards Air Assault Brigade. Some of their helicopters were shot down. The remaining force of about 1,000 elite paratroop units faced Ukraine's 3rd Special Purpose Regiment waiting to defend
Battle of Kyiv Thread 12/

While this battle for the airport was under way, the main air assault force (7,000 more men & their armored vehicles) arrived over the airport in giant IL 76 transport cargo jets. They attempted to land. Ukraine shot down two IL 76. Landing was aborted
Battle of Kyiv Thread 13/

The IL 76 jets were diverted to nearest Russian-controlled airfield which was on the Belarus side of the border, town of Gomel (Homel)

Meanwhile Ukraine's Kyiv defense sent 4th Rapid Reaction Brigade to reinforce the defenders who retook the airport
Battle of Kyiv Thread 14/

Antonov Airport, briefly in Russian hands in the morning of Feb 24, was now back in Ukrainian control by afternoon of Feb 24. They knew a large land invasion army was coming South from Belarus, and proceeded to destroy the runways of this airport
Battle of Kyiv Thread 15/

The Russian paratroops attacked Antonov Airport in a massive helicopter assault of 200 helicopters and about 5,000 men, taking the airport again, on Feb 25. But Ukraine defenders prevented their breakout encircling the airport.
Battle of Kyiv Thread 16/

The main army attacking Kyiv came overland with tanks and armor, the 35th Combined Arms Army. It fought itself to and through the perimeter of the Antonov airport & afternoon Feb 25 airport was in Russian hands. But now unusable so was pyrrhic victory
Battle of Kyiv Thread 17/

If you remember early hysteria that Kyiv might fall, or President Zelensky might be captured or killed, & Western allies begged Zelensky to flee Kyiv. This was all realistic & the threat was real. Russians TRIED an air assault on Kyiv

Ukraine prevailed
Battle of Kyiv Thread 18/

Putin Plan A was to defeat Ukraine in 4 hours. He launched a massive air assault with 8,000 elite paratroops, their armored vehicles, dozens of helicopters & dozens of giant cargo planes & DID seize the airport suitable for this mission

Plan A failed
Battle of Kyiv Thread 19/


While Plan A was under way, ALSO Russia had prepared for Plan B, just in case

On same morning Feb 24, they launched the full assault on Kyiv, to take the capital city by force. And this plan was modeled on Grozny, Chechen War
Battle of Kyiv Thread 20/

In Putin's first war (then as Prime Minister) the Second Chechen War 1999-2000, Putin encircled capital city of Chechnya, Grozny (pop 450,000). Laid a minefield around it. Bombarded it every day & night until literally every building destroyed.
Battle of Kyiv Thread 21/

This EXACT same Grozny battle plan is used by Putin today in Ukraine, in siege of Mariupol (pop 450,000)

To undestand Plan B for Kyiv, look at Mariupol. That was Putin's Plan B for Kyiv (pop 3M). Not invade Kyiv but encircle it & then bombard to rubble
Battle of Kyiv Thread 22/


The Battle plan to take Kyiv was to send Russian 35th Combined Arms Army from Belarus to a staging town outside Kyiv (Hostomel just outside of Irpin) on Day 1. Then refuel. Then encircle Kyiv on Day 2. Start destruction of Kyiv on Day 3
Battle of Kyiv Thread 23/

Note, the Russians did not expect that Kyiv would capitulate after 3 days, only that in this battle plan, they would encircle Kyiv in 3 days, essentially guaranteeing Russia's eventually destruction of Kyiv (six months to two years later) or surrender
Battle of Kyiv Thread 24/

The Battle of Kyiv plan needed only one significant element to work. The refueling of their tanks, armored vehicles & self-propelled artillery. The distance from Belarus border to Kyiv is EXACTLY the maximum fuel they could carry. Needed refueling
Battle of Kyiv Thread 25/

If refueled after one day this 35th Combined Arms Army (that I estimated was roughly 70,000 men, 7,000 armored vehicles incl 2,100 tanks) would have enough fuel to complete the encirclement of Kyiv on Day 2, so to lay siege on Kyiv from 26th of February
Battle of Kyiv Thread 26/

Part 1 of this plan worked exactly as planned. The tanks crossed border into Ukraine on 24 February. By 25th February they had reached Hostomel, 13 miles (20km) from Kyiv. But they were out of fuel. They came to their designated refueling area...
Battle of Kyiv Thread 27/

Their promised fuel had not yet arrived. So they waited. They called up the convoy where that precious fuel was, and found out, the fuel trucks are less than an hour away. So they waited. And called an hour later. Delay. Four hours later. Still delayed
Battle of Kyiv Thread 28/

At some point the commander of 35th Combined Arms Army decided to postpone refueling to next day, told his troops to get some sleep. And called up his fuel trucks. They were still delayed, just 1 hour out, facing local resistance, it is a narrow road..
Battle of Kyiv Thread 29/

The 70,000 men and 7,000 armored vehicles attacked from Belarus border, crossed 70 miles (115km) & reached their Day 1 target on schedule

Had the fuel been there this army would have encircled Kyiv on Day 2. Something prevented that. The 40 mile convoy
Battle of Kyiv Thread 30/


Had Russia figured out, on Feb 25, that this convoy of the fuel they needed, would never arrive, they would have ordered a replacement convoy, & received full fuel (and food and ammo) no later than Feb 28

Ukraine tricked them
Battle of Kyiv Thread 31/

With what would become known as 'the 40 mile convoy', the Ukrainian defenders of Kyiv, managed to play a cat-and-mouse game with gullible Russian commanders, to believe for TWO WEEKS that this convoy might reach the starved troops & tanks

It saved Kyiv
Battle of Kyiv Thread 32/

We now know, that the initial delays to 40 mile convoy were done by a specialist forest combat unit of only 30 commandos, led by Ukrainian Col Yaroslav Honchar. They used quad bikes to move fast in the swampy forest. They had night vision gear & drones
Battle of Kyiv Thread 33/

The Ukrainian unit did what any convoy combat needs, they disabled (or destroyed) the first 3 vehicles at a narrow point on the road. It blocked passage forward. Then harassed the convoy as it grew longer and more congested. Fast hit-and-run attacks
Battle of Kyiv Thread 34/

At some point (I do not yet know when or where) at least one bridge, possibly several bridges were destroyed preventing the extremely heavy cargo trucks from passing over modest water obstacles. So Russians brought bridging gear, delay delay delay
Battle of Kyiv Thread 35/

The convoy that kept growing, to its full length of 40 miles (64 km) had eventually about 1,400 supply trucks jammed on this narrow road. They had a small security detail of about 2,000 Russian soldiers. And were never able to break through Ukrainians
Battle of Kyiv Thread 36/

The Russian command did not figure out how Ukraine was playing them until about March 11. And Russia sent several smaller replacement convoys on other roads, that reached the Russian 35th Combined Arms Army around 14 March. This delay saved Kyiv
Battle of Kyiv Thread 37/


While the armored vehicles were without fuel and could not maneuver, the 35th Combined Arms Army did not sit idly. They would need to move from the planned encirclement inwards in any case, to get good artillery positions to shell Kyiv
Battle of Kyiv Thread 38/

So just a few miles from Hostomel towards Kyiv, is the next town on the suburbs of Kyiv, named Irpin (pop 30,000). The battle for Irpin would be the turning point in the Battle of Kyiv. It lasted one month
Battle of Kyiv Thread 39/

The Russian 35th Combined Arms Army arrived to edge of Irpin on 25th February. The assault on Irpin started on 27th Feb. The Ukrainians were there, ready, & determined to hold. This was test of unstoppable force vs immovable object. One month of combat
Battle of Kyiv Thread 40/

Irpin is 11 miles (17km) from Kyiv. Russia never took Irpin. This was how close the massive invasion army of Russia got to Kyiv. 11 miles. Here is where Ukraine turned them back. On 28 March, Ukrainians had kicked all Russians out, and liberated Irpin
Battle of Kyiv Thread 41/


The 3 Day War Plan to defeat Ukraine involved encircling Kyiv. Day 1 of that encirclement plan went exactly according to plan & schedule. But the required fuel did not arrive to move forward on Day 2. So the Russian armor had to wait
Battle of Kyiv Thread 42/

The mighty 35th Combined Arms Army of Russia, with about 70,000 men, 7,000 armored vehicles, that crossed 70 miles (115km) in 24 hours, would have easily covered the two pincers the next 24 hours to encircle Kyiv, each only 20 miles (32km) of distance
Battle of Kyiv Thread 43/

But once the Ukrainians knew where the Russians were, and saw exactly the force there, on satellite photos and drone video, Ukrainians built the required defenses to stop this force from encircling Kyiv. There were only 2 directions to go from Hostomel
Battle of Kyiv Thread 44/

Ukrainians knew, that heading West from Hostomel comes the Dnepro (Dnieper) river. Last town before the river is Vyshhorod. And next town East was Makariv. So the Ukrainians knew where Russia would go, once it was refueled
Battle of Kyiv Thread 45/

The Ukrainians saw on satellite images when the Russians finally figured out their cat-and-mouse game with the 40 mile convoy, when Russia finally sent replacement convoys on other routes. Ukraine shelled those too, but most got through
Battle of Kyiv Thread 46/

By March 16 the Russians had finally been able to refuel their armor stuck in Hostomel. And what remained of 70,000 men after 3 weeks of combat, could finally start the total encirclement of Kyiv. This would turn into an utter disaster
Battle of Kyiv Thread 47/

Towards the West the Ukrainians had urban combat defenses in the suburb of Vyshhorod now as heavily defended as Irpin. The Russians never got even a foothold in Vyshhorod. They had waited too long. But they also attacked East
Battle of Kyiv Thread 48/

Because Ukraine knew, the path West was impassable, this 35th Combined Arms Army was forced to go East to encircle Kyiv, they were waiting in ambush near town Makariv
Battle of Kyiv Thread 49/

While battle in Irpin lasted a month in man-to-man urban combat, the armored units of the Russian 35th Combined Arms Army clashed with Ukrainian armor & anti-tank units in ambush, outside Makariv & lasted only two days. Makariv was liberated on 22 March
Battle of Kyiv Thread 50/

In the Battle outside Makariv Ukraine was able to hit the command post of the total 35th Combined Arms Army reportedly wounding the commander of the Northern invasion army (was listed early as one of Generals killed but seems to be alive)
Battle of Kyiv Thread 51/

With the armor destroyed outside Makariv and much of the infantry wiped out in the urban combat meat grinder attempting to move into Irpin, the 35th Combined Arms Army had probably half in casualties (dead or injured). The assault on Kyiv had now failed
Battle of Kyiv Thread 52/

The remnants of the Russian 35th Combined Arms Army retreated out of Ukraine, back to Belarus on 31 March

Those that were able to escape did. At least 700 vehicles got out, could be 10,000 men, partly injured

The Battle of Kyiv was now won by Ukraine
Battle of Kyiv Thread 53/

Putin sent an airborne assault army, the size of one division, 8,000 men to go take an airport (by helicopter assault) and then fly the division in my cargo planes, to take the Presidential Palace & broadcast on Ukrainian TV that Ukraine had surrendered
Battle of Kyiv Thread 54/

Putin's backup plan, if the 4 hour war would fail, was the 3 day war to encircle Kyiv. After the air assault was repelled by Ukraine's brave resistance at Antonov Airport in Hostomel, the massive Russian army arrived to the edge of Kyiv to lay siege
Battle of Kyiv Thread 55/

From Feb 25 the Russian army was at the gates of Kyiv, yet Ukrainians turned a huge army into a paper tiger and humiliated the Russians so badly, they turned and ran back to Belarus on 31 March

The Battle of Kyiv is an enormous victory for Ukraine
Wow Thank You!

In just ten hours you have spread this Thread about how the Battle of Kyiv was won so widely, it has been read by over 160,000 people on Twitter. That is more than my total reach


It took me about 5 hours to compose that Thread of 55 Tweets. There are a few areas I'd like to correct or change the meaning so I am not misunderstood. If these were individual Tweets I would delete & reissue the corrected Tweet. On a Thread is impossible
I am sorry about East/West confusion. I don't know what came over me. Every time you read 'East' in this Thread I meant 'West' & vice versa (towns in suburbs of Kyiv). I am very sorry

On two Il 76 'downed' perhaps were damaged, not downed. We do not yet know. They were diverted
And on the retreat number. I did not mean there is no MORE than 10,000 who got out. That was wrong impression

I meant we 'know' 700 Russian vehicles left. And I tried to help, that instead of 7,000 men, those probably carried out 10,000 men. But more vehicles escaped to Belarus
So we should take 10,000 as the 'floor' and expect a bigger number 2-3-4 times bigger, ended up escaping out of Northern Ukraine to Belarus

About half of the invader force managed to escape (35K). And of those probably half are injured who are now receiving care in Belarus (17K)
Neil Armstrong:

"One small step in Kyiv. One giant leap for Ukraine."
Sir Winston Churchill:

"This is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end. But perhaps, Kyiv is the end of the beginning."
[President Zelensky in a George C Scott accent]

"Putin! You magnificent bastard! I read your book on Grozny!"
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