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Satellite photos show Russian military convoy over 60 km long headed toward Kyiv

Click to play video: 'Kyiv remains on defence as massive Russian convoy nears Ukraine’s capital' Kyiv remains on defence as massive Russian convoy nears Ukraine’s capital
WATCH: Kyiv remains on defence as massive Russian convoy nears Ukraine's capital – Feb 28, 2022

New satellite images are providing a clear look at the sheer size of the Russian military convoy advancing toward the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

The photos, which were taken Monday and provided to Global News by American space technology company Maxar, suggest the convoy is nearly 65 kilometres (40 miles) long, stretching from near Antonov airport in Hostomel in the south to the northern-end of the convoy near the village of Prybirsk.

Hostomel lies just five kilometres outside the Kyiv city border.

A large military convoy seen north of Kyiv stretches from near Antonov airport in the south to the northern-end of the convoy near Prybirsk, Ukraine, on Feb. 28, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies
A large military convoy seen north of Kyiv stretches from near Antonov airport in the south to the northern-end of the convoy near Prybirsk, Ukraine, on Feb. 28, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

Images taken earlier in the day, also by Maxar, suggested the convoy was about half the size, stretching about 27 kilometres (17 miles) long.

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The company said cloud cover limited the full view of the convoy’s length early Monday morning.

The new photos also show what Maxar said were burning homes and buildings north and northwest of Ivankiv, near the roads where the convoy is travelling.

Burning homes and buildings are seen near a highway north of Ivankiv, Ukraine, where a Russian military convoy is heading toward Kyiv on Feb. 28, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies
Burning homes and buildings are seen near a highway northwest of Ivankiv, Ukraine, where a Russian military convoy is heading toward Kyiv on Feb. 28, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

Maxar noted the vehicles, which include large equipment transports and troop units, are sometimes spaced fairly far apart in some areas along the convoy route, while in others the vehicles are travelling two or three at a time.

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The company said cloud cover limited the full view of the convoy’s length earlier Monday.

Kyiv has held back Russian attacks for five full days now, as the capital has withstood numerous missile and ground attacks. Civilians have joined the fight, with some barraging Russian tanks with molotov cocktails from the street or apartment windows.

Read more: More deaths, injuries as Ukrainian cities defend themselves from Russian onslaught

Ukraine and Western intelligence has said Russian President Vladimir Putin is aiming to overthrow Ukraine’s democratic government, making Kyiv a key target in the invasion.

The new satellite images also show several ground force deployments and ground attack helicopter units that have amassed in southern Belarus, about 30 kilometres north of the Ukrainian border.

Ground attack helicopters and additional units are seen at V.D. Bolkov airfield, south of Mazyr, Belarus, about 30 kilometres north of the Ukrainian border on Feb. 28, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies
Russian ground forces field deployments are seen near Khilchika, Belarus, approximately 12 kilometres north of the border with Ukraine, on Feb. 28, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

Belarus, a key ally of Russia, has faced international condemnation and limited sanctions for allowing Russian troops to mobilize in the country during the invasion.

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Ukraine has alleged that Belarusian troops joined Russian forces in attacks on border checkpoints last week in the first hours of the war, which Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has denied.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday that Lukashenko has allowed Putin to “make a mockery” of Belarus’ sovereignty by allowing Moscow’s forces to launch their attack on Ukraine from its territory.

Click to play video: 'Fight rages in Ukraine as families flee' Fight rages in Ukraine as families flee
Fight rages in Ukraine as families flee – Feb 28, 2022

Belarus on Monday hosted the first round of ceasefire talks between Ukraine and Russia, with more talks expected to be held in the coming days. The head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, said those future talks will be held on the Polish-Belarusian border.

Ukraine had said it wanted to secure an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces. The Kremlin declined to comment on its goals.

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Putin has shown no sign of reconsidering the invasion he unleashed on Ukraine last Thursday, despite severe Western sanctions on himself and the Russian economy.

Read more: Shelling kills civilians, injures dozens in Kharkiv, says Ukrainian official

As the ceasefire talks were underway, Russian shelling killed 11 Ukrainians and injured dozens more in Kharkiv on Monday morning, according to Ukrainian officials.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday night called for a no-fly zone over Ukraine to prevent further Russian missile and air attacks. The U.S. said they will not enforce such a directive, which could spark a direct confrontation between Moscow and NATO.

Putin on Sunday told his top defence and military officials to put nuclear forces in a “special regime of combat duty,” while Belarus passed a constitutional referendum to revoke the country’s non-nuclear status.

— With files from Reuters

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