According to an official, despite satellite photos showing a massive Russian army column approaching Kyiv, the army column is still 25 kilometers away and has advanced just five kilometers since yesterday.
“They’re running out of gas, and they’re having logistics problems,” the official said.
“The Ukrainians have proved pretty effective” in their resistance, the official added.
According to a Pentagon official, Belarusian troops have not participated in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, despite concerns they would.
Belarus, a country bordering Ukraine and an ally of Russia, was used as a staging ground for the invasion.
“We have seen no indications that Belarusian troops are being readied to move into Ukraine, and certainly no indications that they are in fact, moving or are in Ukraine,” the official said.
The official also said there was no evidence that Russia would place nuclear weapons in Belarus, as a means of challenging NATO’s support for Ukraine.
The Russian troops in Ukraine are making slow progress due to fuel supply problems, and officials have downplayed reports that Belarusian troops intend to reinforce Moscow’s invasion force in Ukraine.
The Russian president announced Sunday, four days after Moscow launched its invasion, that the army’s deterrence forces had been put into a “special combat mode.”
Cluster bombs have been used by the Russian military to attack civilian areas of the east of Ukraine that have successfully resisted the invasion, analysts and activists say. Today, after Kyiv’s forces pushed the Russians out of Kharkiv, Russian Grad rockets blanketed a shopping center in Kharkiv, killing dozens and wounding hundreds.
According to Amnesty International, the bombs were also used to destroy a school in Okhtyrka, killing three people, including a child. Yet, the UN charter outlawing the use of bombs was not signed by Russia. The use of the weapons by Russia against civilians would constitute a war crime.
The explosions are some of the most serious attacks on civilians since the war began five days ago, and they occurred even as Russian and Ukrainian delegations sat down in Belarus for ‘peace talks’.
There has been concern that the talks could presage an increase in violence, as Putin increasingly employs heavy weaponry that was absent from the early fighting to force a victory that he has not been able to achieve with subtler means.
Having received ‘aggressive statements’ from members of the Nato defense alliance, Vladimir Putin (left) placed Moscow’s nuclear forces on a ‘special regime of combat duty. On Monday, however, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov went further and said that Liz Truss was to blame for the escalation during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A senior ally of the Foreign Secretary replied that the move was clearly intended to divert attention from the conflict in Ukraine. The move comes after experts warned that putting Russia’s nuclear deterrent on ‘alert’ was tantamount to threatening nuclear war.
‘If Russia is not treated as he wants, everything will be destroyed,’ said Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov, editor of the Moscow paper Novaya Gazeta. The West’s calls for the overthrow of the president of the country by its political elite were also redundant because ‘they always agree with the ruler’.
An official from the US defense department warned that Putin could be tempted to turn to his nuclear arsenal if he keeps stumbling with his Ukraine invasion.
In response to heightened tensions, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his nuclear forces put on increased alert, extending the Russian military assault on Ukraine into its fifth day. A Ukrainian delegation held talks with Russian officials on the Belarus border, but prospects for any substantive outcome were uncertain.
In response to Western sanctions triggered by the invasion, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin as the Russian ruble plunged, leading to long lines at banks and ATMs across Russia.
The outgunned, but determined Kievan troops halted Russia’s advance and managed to hold onto Kyiv and other key cities – at least for now.
Since the invasion began last week, explosions and gunfire have been disrupting daily life around the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. As residents emerged from bomb shelters and homes for the first time since a curfew was imposed Saturday, long lines formed outside supermarkets.