People emerge from metro for first time since Saturday after days of bombing

People in Kyiv are emerging from bunkers, basements and subway stations for the first time since Saturday after Ukrainian forces fended off a major Russian push to take the capital.

Residents crammed into makeshift bomb shelters over the weekend after a curfew was imposed by the city’s mayor, former world heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko.

Ukrainian troops withstood days of shelling and clashes with ‘pre-positioned Russian sabotage groups’, according to UK intelligence sources.

As day broke over the city, Alexander Syrsky, the general in command of Kyiv’s defence, announced: ‘All attempts by the Russian Occupation Forces to achieve their goal failed. Convoys of occupiers’ equipment were destroyed.

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‘The enemy suffered significant personnel losses. Russian troops are demoralized and exhausted.

‘We have shown that we know how to protect our home from uninvited guests.’

General Syrsky’s account has been corroborated by UK and US intelligence sources, which said most of Russia’s ground forces have been held back nearly 30km outside Kyiv.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on Monday morning that the Russian advance was being ‘frustrated’ by ‘logistical failures’ and ‘staunch Ukrainian resistance’.

Over the weekend, Putin’s forces had been forced to leave troops behind to surround other towns and cities as they rushed to take Kyiv.

A final push towards the city was said to have been blocked by Ukrainian forces defending Hostomel airfield, to the north.

Putin thought he would seize on the first day of the invasion, according to western intelligence sources, but it has repeatedly changed hands.

Heavy fighting is still underway in two major cities to the east, Kharkiv and Chernihiv, where a missile is understood to have hit a residential area.

The curfew was lifted to allow residents to get food, although many supermarket isles were empty. It will be reimposed again from 10pm on Monday until 7am Tuesday.

Russia has offered to allow residents to leave the city by what it claims to be a safe passage whlie it reinforces its assault force.

The UK’s defence minister, Ben Wallace, warned that Putin’s offensive is likely to soon become ‘more violent’ with ‘high casualty levels’.

On a call with Boris Johnson, Ukrainian President Zelensky said the next 24 hours would be a ‘crucial period’, with Belarus set to hold the first peace talks between Ukrainian and Russian delegations on its border later on Monday.

Meanwhile, satellite images appeared to show a three-mile long column of armoured Russian vehicles heading towards the city.

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