Speed Reads

they shall not pass

Russia 'will not capture' any of Ukraine's cities, Ukrainian defense minister says

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said Saturday he believes the country's military is capable of fending off a Russian invasion, CNN reported.

"Everyone who has looked into the eyes of our soldiers at least once is sure that there will be no repeat of 2014. The aggressor will not capture either Kyiv, Odessa, Kharkiv, or any other city," Reznikov said in a statement, adding that the "armed forces of Ukraine are absolutely ready to fight back and will not give up Ukrainian lands."

He also cited the sophisticated weaponry, improved training, the experience soldiers have gained in the ongoing conflict with Russian-backed separatists, and strong international support as reasons for his optimism.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley gave a very different assessment of the situation earlier this month, suggesting that Kyiv could fall to the Russians within 72 hours of an invasion, Fox News reported.

The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Russia have all pulled diplomats out of Ukraine's capital, according to The Wall Street Journal and BBC.

Politico reported Saturday that President Biden told U.S. allies Russia may begin its invasion Wednesday.

Ukrainians held a patriotic demonstration in Kyiv on Saturday, carrying signs that read "RESIST" and "Invaders Must Die."