Satellite Images Show 64-Kilometer-Long Russian Convoy Nearing Kyiv

Earlier this week, satellites over Eastern Europe revealed a massive convoy of Russian tanks and military vehicles snaking their way towards Kiev. Maxar Technologies captured the photographs on the morning of February 28th, showing a massive Russian military convoy north of the beleaguered Ukrainian city of Kyiv. They first stated that the heavy metal convoy was more than 27 kilometers (17 miles) long, but then clarified that it extends for most of a 64-kilometer (40-mile) route between Antonov airport and Prybirsk.

They also report seeing a number of homes and structures set ablaze north and northwest of Ivankiv, not far from the convoy’s course. Maxar’s eyes in the sky also monitor military action in southern Belarus, a close Russian ally on the Ukrainian border.

Field deployments of ground forces have been seen near Khilchika, about 12 kilometers (8 miles) north of the Ukrainian border, and Teshkov, about 19 kilometers (12 miles) south of the border. Meanwhile, Maxar Technologies reports the presence of both ground soldiers and ground attack helicopter units less than 32 kilometers (20 miles) north of the Ukrainian border. Belarusian troops were allegedly on Ukrainian soil on March 1st, according to Ukrainian authorities. While additional sources have yet to corroborate this, it is apparent that Belarus played a key part in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the US anticipates that soldiers will be sent there shortly, maybe this week.

According to a US defense official, Belarus may be prepared to send its forces into Ukraine to back the Russian invasion, maybe as soon as this week, amid growing anxiety over Minsk’s military preparations. Russian soldiers have previously utilized Belarus as a staging area, gathering there under the guise of joint military drills before to last week’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. There is already mounting indication that Minsk is edging closer to being a full participant in the conflict. After a vote, it declared on Monday that it was withdrawing its non-nuclear status, allowing Russian weapons to be put in Belarus. The action sparked uncommon public outrage in the country.

Last week, Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign affairs director, warned Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was enabling his nation to become a Russian satellite state, while a US source added on Sunday night, “It’s pretty evident Minsk is now an extension of the Kremlin.” On Monday, Russian and Ukrainian officials were scheduled to meet to discuss the violence in southern Belarus, near the Ukrainian border. On the Telegram app, the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that his group had arrived, which included the defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, a close adviser to the president, and the deputy foreign minister.

According to Zelenskiy’s office, “the fundamental topic of the discussions is an early ceasefire and the evacuation of soldiers from Ukrainian territory.” Images circulated on social media on Monday purporting to show a convoy of the Belarusian army’s 38th Air Assault Brigade in Kobryn in the Brest area of Belarus already displaying what were believed to be “friendly force” identification marks designed to avert fratricide amongst partner soldiers.