Russian convoy in Ukraine: why is there a 40 mile long military fleet heading to Kyiv and where are tanks now?

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Russia and its president Vladimir Putin have been accused of war crimes by Ukraine officials

A Russian convoy stretching 40 miles long has assembled to the north of Kyiv as Vladimir Putin continues his invasion of Ukraine.

Satellite images released by the Maxar company show a fleet of Russia's military vehicles, including tanks and carrying troops, advancing to the Ukrainian capital.

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It is feared Russia president Putin will resort to “barbaric tactics” including a barrage of rockets and shells which could inflict yet more devastating civilian casualties.

Why is a Russian convoy assembled north of Kyiv?

Western officials fear that the slow progress of the Russian invasion will lead Mr Putin and his commanders to adopt more brutal and indiscriminate tactics to achieve the Kremlin’s goals.

UK deputy prime minister Dominic Raab told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We can expect, for every stutter and stumble, him to try and come back for even more heavy-handed tactics, but that is a sign that the initial phase at least – and this is going to be a long haul – has not lived up to his expectations.”

Mr Raab told LBC “nothing is off the table” in support for Ukraine in response to a question about whether the UK would supply fighter planes.

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But the Ukrainian air force largely flies jets from the former Soviet bloc so it is unlikely that British planes would be helpful due to a lack of pilots trained in their use.

Where is Ukraine? (Graphic: Mark Hall)Where is Ukraine? (Graphic: Mark Hall)
Where is Ukraine? (Graphic: Mark Hall) | Graphic: Mark Hall

Where is the Russian convoy now?

The latest intelligence from the Ministry of Defence said the advance on Kyiv had made little progress over the past 24 hours, probably due to logistical problems.

But there had been increased use of artillery north of the capital.

The MoD also said that Russia had been forced to shift to more night operations due to the failure to gain air superiority.

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Satellite images from the Maxar company showed the extent of the Russian forces massing around Kyiv, with a column of armoured vehicles, tanks, artillery and support vehicles stretching 40 miles.

That force was 17 miles from the capital on Monday.

What's been said about Vladimir Putin's tactics?

Ukraine has already accused Russia of war crimes during the invasion over the bombardment of civilian areas in the second city Kharkiv.

Deputy UK prime minister Dominic Raab, a former foreign office lawyer, said it must be clear “both to Putin but also to commanders in Moscow and on the ground in Ukraine that they will be held accountable for any violations of the laws of war”.

He told Sky News: “Those that engage in war crimes will be held to account.”

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The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, said he plans to open an investigation “as rapidly as possible” into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.

Where is Boris Johnson as Russian convoy lines up outside Kyiv?

UK prime minister Boris Johnson is visiting Poland and Estonia to help show support for its eastern Nato allies.

Mr Johnson said: “We have shared values that are more important than ever to protect, as the humanitarian situation gets worse.

“Alongside all our international allies the UK will continue to bring maximum pressure to bear on Putin’s regime to ensure he feels the consequences of his actions in Ukraine. We speak with one voice when we say Putin must fail.”

A message from the editor:

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