A 40-mile-long column of Russian military vehicles was winding its way toward Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, Monday, satellite images show – and it was roughly 40 miles long.
The images, from Colorado-based Maxar Technologies, show long lines of Russian ground forces as they made their way toward Kyiv, where Russian forces stalled about 17 miles outside the city Monday.
Earlier reports said the convoy stretched on for 17 miles, but authorities revised that total later Monday.
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Separately, Maxar told Reuters Monday that other images show additional Russian military assets in Belarus, a nearby Kremlin ally, within 20 miles of the Ukraine border.
The images show armored vehicles, artillery, support vehicles and logistical supplies, according to Manoj Mahajan, Ph.D., an associate professor at Stony Brook University in New York and former defense official with a background in satellite imagery. In some places, he said he saw Russian troop bivouacs.
“This just shows how serious Russia is and brazen with their troop movements,” he said. “It’s a disregard to the early few days of resolve shown by the Ukrainian people.”
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U.S. and U.K. intelligence analysts have said that Russia appears to have met stiffer resistance from Ukraine’s defense forces than expected – at least in the early stages of the invasion, which is nearing its sixth day.
Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine earlier this week, with Putin claiming the move was a defensive measure amid threats from Ukraine. The White House warned earlier this month that U.S. intelligence had predicted the invasion on fabricated grounds.
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Ukraine has put up a valiant defense in the face of overwhelming force – but few experts expect that to dissuade Putin, who has a larger army and more resources available. Attacks on infrastructure could intensify as a way to overwhelm the resistance.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy turned down a U.S. evacuation offer Friday, calling on Western powers to step up their assistance instead.
“The fight is here,” he said, according to a translation of his remarks. “I need ammunition, not a ride.”
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The government has also handed out thousands of automatic rifles to civilians and is sharing flyers on its official social media accounts explaining how to attack Russian tanks with Molotov cocktails.
But Russia has a larger, better-equipped, and well-trained military.
WHD News’ Trey Yingst contributed to this report.