Days later, they are still waiting.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Thursday that the convoy appeared to have stopped 30 km (19 miles) outside Kyiv and that it had made “notable slight progress” over the past three days, citing intelligence.
“The main body of the large Russian column advancing on Kyiv is still more than 30 kilometers from the city centre, having been delayed by heavy Ukrainian resistance, mechanical collapse and congestion. The column has made little noticeable progress in more than three days,” the UK statement said.
While the convoy and the broader Russian push toward Kyiv “remain on hold,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday night, there was significant concern “that the window might close to be able to get aid to cities that might come under siege.”
A senior US defense official told reporters that although the convoy was running short of fuel and food, the US assessed that the Russians “will once again learn from these pitfalls and these pitfalls and try to overcome them.”
A halt in the advance of the convoy could create multiple strategic problems for Russia.
First, as the main Russian supply line for any major attack on Kyiv, it is a very big target for Ukrainian forces fighting against the invasion.
Second, sitting in a 40-mile-long traffic jam for days on end could affect the morale and discipline of Russian soldiers before a major military operation was launched.
It is believed that the caravan has Entered Ukraine via BelarusA key ally of Putin, Russia has moved huge numbers of troops in recent weeks to carry out what it described as joint exercises. When the exercises ended, the troops did not leave, and satellite images showed that Russia had increased its military presence in the country.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed on Wednesday night that fierce Ukrainian resistance had damaged Russian morale.
“More and more occupiers are fleeing back to Russia, from us, from you… We are a nation that shattered the enemy’s plans in a week – plans that had been built for years,” he said in a Facebook post.
The latest assessments about the convoy come after the Russian military released its first casualty toll of the war, saying 498 of its soldiers were killed and 1,597 wounded. “It is almost certain that the actual number of dead and injured will be much higher and will continue to rise,” the UK statement said on Thursday.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed his “deep sadness” over the Russian military losses Thursday morning.
But it seems that Russia is facing less resistance in Southern Ukrainewhere the mayor of the strategically important Black Sea city of Kherson indicated that Russian forces had taken control, although the claims remain disputed.
And the crucial southeast Ukrainian city of Mariupol Russia came under siege by Russian forces Thursday, as Moscow seeks to tighten its grip on the country’s south.
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