By Frank Gardner
BBC security correspondent
Feb 26, 2022
The gloves are off, the pretences dropped, diplomacy is dead – at least for now. Ukraine is under full-scale Russian invasion and is fighting for its very survival.
So what happens next?
The biggest prize for Russia is Kyiv, the capital city and seat of President Zelensky’s government – a city where fighting has already been taking place.
President Putin has clearly spent months closeted in isolation, studying his defence chiefs’ plans to take over his West-leaning Slavic neighbour and bring it back into Moscow’s orbit.
The invasion plan broadly consists of a three-pronged line of attack, from the north, east and south, using artillery and missile strikes to soften resistance before following up with infantry and tanks. Putin would ideally like to see the Zelensky government quickly capitulate and surrender, to be replaced by a Moscow-leaning puppet government.
The aim would be to prevent a protracted urban camp.