US 'Convinced' Russia Plans to Overthrow Ukraine Government

As missiles reportedly strike Kyiv
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 24, 2022 10:54 PM CST
Kyiv 'Could Well Be Under Siege' as Missiles Strike Capital
A metallurgical plant is seen on the outskirts of the city of Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Russia has launched a barrage of air and missile strikes on Ukraine early Thursday and Ukrainian officials said that Russian troops have rolled into the country from the north, east and south.   (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Explosions are being heard before dawn Friday in Kyiv as Western leaders scheduled an emergency meeting and Ukraine’s president pleaded for international help, the AP reports. The nature of the explosions was not immediately clear, but the blasts came amid signs that the capital and largest Ukrainian city was increasingly threatened following a day of fighting that left more than 100 Ukrainians dead. A Ukrainian government advisor tells CNN Kyiv is being hit with cruise or ballistic missiles. Russian forces had surrounded Kyiv by Thursday and appeared ready to move in.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said the government had information that “subversive groups” were encroaching on the city, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Kyiv “could well be under siege” in what US officials believe is a brazen attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to dismantle the government and replace it with his own regime. Blinken says he's "convinced" that's what Putin has planned, and Zelensky, who remains in the capital, says he believes he is the No. 1 target of what he described as "enemy sabotage groups." US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told lawmakers on a phone call that Russian mechanized forces that entered from Belarus were about 20 miles from Kyiv, according to a person familiar with the call.

(More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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