In Pictures – Russian convoy of ground forces, fuel, tanks moving toward Kyiv – Maxar

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Satellite imagery taken on Sunday showed a large deployment of Russian ground troops moving in the direction of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv from approximately 40 miles (64 km) away, a private U.S. company said.

The images released by Maxar Technologies Maxar showed a deployment comprised of hundreds of military vehicles and extending more than 3.25 miles (5 km), Maxar said.

The images released by Maxar, which has been tracking the buildup of Russian forces for weeks, could not be independently verified by Reuters.

A handout satellite image made available by Maxar Technologies shows Russian ground forces in convoy near of Ivankiv, Ukraine, 27 February 2022. Russian troops entered Ukraine on 24 February prompting the country’s president to declare martial law and triggering a series of announcements by Western countries to impose severe economic sanctions on Russia. EPA-EFE/MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES HANDOUT — SATELLITE IMAGE 2022 MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES
A handout satellite image made available by Maxar Technologies shows Antonov airport in Hostomel, Ukraine, 27 February 2022. Russian troops entered Ukraine on 24 February prompting the country’s president to declare martial law and triggering a series of announcements by Western countries to impose severe economic sanctions on Russia. EPA-EFE/MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES HANDOUT — SATELLITE IMAGE 2022 MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES

Russia, evidently frustrated by early battlefield setbacks in Ukraine, could be shifting its strategy to siege warfare just as President Vladimir Putin raises the risk of a catastrophic miscalculation by putting nuclear forces on heightened alert, a senior U.S. defense official said on Sunday.

Putin gave the order to his nuclear forces as Washington assesses that Russian troops have made limited progress in their four-day-old invasion due to stiff Ukrainian resistance and planning failures that have left some units without fuel or other supplies, U.S. officials said.

As missiles rained down on Ukrainian cities, hundreds of thousands of civilians, mainly women and children, were fleeing the Russian assault into neighboring countries.

The United States assesses that Russia has fired more than 350 missiles at Ukrainian targets so far, some hitting civilian infrastructure, the senior U.S. defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Still, it had so far mainly focused on military targets.

Citing a Russian offensive on the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, north of Kyiv, the official cited early indications that Russia might be adopting siege tactics.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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