The 40-mile convoy of Russian forces headed for the Ukrainian capital Kiev has not moved in recent days, according to US defense officials. The convoy advanced towards Kiev via a road north of the capital from the border with Belarus. It was first seen on satellite images in February.
“There does not appear to be any significant movement along the Russian axes,” a US official told reporters on Sunday, adding: “Leading elements remain outside these city centers. We cannot give specific distances today.”
The convoy “continues to run aground,” the official added.
US intelligence estimates that nearly 95 percent of the combat power that Russia had amassed along the border is now in Ukraine.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that the United States has seen very credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians in Ukraine.
Now that Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised to continue his invasion, the number of refugees fleeing Ukraine has passed the 1.5 million mark.
About 200,000 people were trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol, Reuters news agency reported after fighting halted evacuation efforts over the weekend, with no signs that massive international sanctions were stopping Moscow from invading Ukraine.
Most people trapped in the port city are sleeping underground to escape more than six days of shelling by Russian forces that have cut off food, water, electricity and heating, Ukrainian authorities said.
About half of the 400,000 people in the city were due to be evacuated on Sunday, but that attempt was cut short for a second day when a ceasefire plan collapsed.
Moscow has repeatedly denied attacking civilian areas and said it has no intention of occupying Ukraine.
In a telephone conversation with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Putin said he was ready for a dialogue to end the fighting, but only if Ukrainian forces stopped resisting and accepted his demands, the Kremlin said.