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A Russian military convoy reported to be dozens of kilometres long and headed towards Kyiv has shown no movement in the past 24 hours, even as battles raged in other Ukrainian cities, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.
“They are not moving at any rate that will lead me to believe that they've solved their problems,” a senior US defence official told reporters. “So we would characterise it as stalled.”
Satellite photos from commercial imaging company Maxar apparently show the imposing military convoy snaking its way toward the Ukrainian capital.
The official referred to “logistical and sustainment” issues that could be hindering Russian movement.
The Pentagon now estimates Moscow has deployed about 82 per cent of its staged troops to Ukraine and has launched more than 450 missiles.
But the US official noted that Russian strikes have shifted focus from military targets to include civilian infrastructure, such as television towers.
The Russian government “has decided to become much more aggressive with its targeting in Kyiv to include infrastructure right there inside the city”, the US official said.
A resilient Ukrainian defence, however, has prevented Moscow from achieving air superiority.
“We believe that the airspace over Ukraine remains contested [and that] the Russians have not achieved air superiority over the whole country,” the Pentagon said.
Washington has continued to deliver weaponry to Ukraine, and the official said these supplies will continue to flow.
“We are going to continue to flow security assistance to the Ukrainians and we have done that … even in the last 24 hours, and we're going to continue to look for ways to do that to maximum effectiveness possible,” the official said.
Separately, the US and its allies announced a new set of sanctions targeting Russia and its close ally Belarus including measures to "further restrict Putin's war machine," the White House said in a statement.
In total, 22 Russian defence-related entities will be sanctioned, including firms that make combat aircraft, infantry fighting vehicles, electronic warfare systems, missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles for Russia’s military, the statement read.
The State Department said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Europe on Thursday, where he will visit Belgium, Poland, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
“The trip continues extensive consultations and co-ordination with our Nato allies and European partners about the Russian Federation’s continued premeditated, unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine,” the State Department said.