Satellite images show Russian army convoy near Kyiv dispersed

The massive convoy of Russian military vehicles that were slowly heading toward Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, appears to have largely dispersed and redeployed elsewhere, new satellite images show.

Driving the news: The convoy was previously estimated to stretch for 40 miles. It massed outside Kyiv last week. But US and UK officials said it had “stalled” due to fuel and food shortages, amid reports Ukrainian fighter jets have been striking the vehicles.

A satellite image of a large Russian military convoy north of Kyiv on Feb.  28, which stretched for about 40 miles, according to analysts.
A satellite image of the convoy north of Kyiv on Feb. 28, when analysts estimated that it stretched for about 40 miles. Photo: Maxar Technologies

Between the lines: Maxar Technologies captured satellite images that capture armored units maneuvering in and through the surrounding towns northwest of Kyiv, near Antonov Airport.

  • Elements of the convoy further north appear to have repositioned and been deployed in forests and along tree lines near the town of Lubyanka, with towed artillery howitzers in firing positions nearby, according to Maxar.

What they’re saying: A US defense official told AP in recent says some vehicles “were seen moving off the road into the tree line,” but they couldn’t whether the Russian military column had broken up.

  • The UK Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence update Thursday that the convoy “has made little progress in over a week and is suffering continued losses at the hands of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”
  • But it added on Friday that it expected Russian forces to “reset and re-posture,” ready for a fresh assault in the coming days, with an attack on Kyiv likely.

The bottom line: “It remains highly unlikely that Russia has successfully achieved the objectives outlined in its pre-invasion plan,” the UK Defense Ministry said in its Friday intelligence.

  • “Russian ground forces continue to make limited progress. Logistical issues that have hampered the Russian advance persist, as does strong Ukrainian resistance,” it said.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with more comment from the UK Defense Ministry.

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