Pictured: Putin's terrifying 40-mile 'war machine' convoy heading to Ukraine capital

1 March 2022, 13:43 | Updated: 1 March 2022, 13:46

The Russian convoy is getting closer to Kyiv.
The Russian convoy is getting closer to Kyiv. Picture: Alamy/Getty/Maxar Technologies

By Emma Soteriou

A huge convoy of Russian heavy armour stretching 40 miles long has been seen closing in on Ukraine's capital, as Putin's invasion of the country continues.

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Russian tanks, artillery and armoured vehicles continued to inch closer to Kyiv on Tuesday, with fighting also intensifying on the ground.

It has been reported that the military convoy snakes all the way from Hostomel, which is on the outskirts of Kyiv, to Prybirs'k - a village around 40 miles away.

The head of the convoy is believed to be around 15 miles from the capital.

It comes as Russia also stepped up shelling of Kharkiv - Ukraine's second-largest city - on Tuesday, pounding civilian targets there, including the region's administrative buildings.

The 'medieval tactics' feared to be under way include surrounding Kyiv in coming days to then attack it into submission as part of a siege.

Read more: Blast rocks Kharkiv as Russia 'takes child hostages' amid claims Putin used vacuum bomb

Read more: 'World War III has already started': Ukrainian journalist blasts Boris for Nato inaction

The convoy spans 40 miles.
The convoy spans 40 miles. Picture: Getty/Maxar Technologies

The convoy was initially believed to be 17 miles long when it left Belarus on Monday.

However, new satellite images have shown it to be more than double that, with the estimate now having been revised and expanded to 40 miles.

Maxar satellite imagery of Russian airborne forces in Zdvyzhivka, Ukraine.
Maxar satellite imagery of Russian airborne forces in Zdvyzhivka, Ukraine. Picture: Getty/Maxar Technologies

White House sources said on Monday that it was tracking the convoy's movement as it grows in size, according to CNN.

But when asked whether there is international help to deal with the convoy, the UK's Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab told the BBC: "I'll be careful what I talk about in real time with, of course, the Russians listening but I will assure you we will do everything we practically can to support the Ukrainians.

"Our strategic objective is that Putin fails in this catastrophic misadventure in Ukraine and that the territorial integrity of Ukraine is respected.

"We want to steel the moral, the political but also the military ability of the Ukrainians to resist for as long as possible."

The southern end of the large military convoy on the edge of Antonov Airport.
The southern end of the large military convoy on the edge of Antonov Airport. Picture: Getty/Maxar Technologies

Surrounding the convoy, plumes of smoke can be seen coming from destroyed vehicles and buildings as the siege nears closer.

In a Facebook update, Ukraine's defence ministry said: "Kharkiv and Kyiv are currently the most important targets for Russia. Terror is meant to break us. To break our resistance. They are heading to our capital, as well as to Kharkiv.

"Therefore, the defense of the capital today is the key priority for the state. All cities of Ukraine must do everything to stop the enemy.

"The military and civilian authorities of each city are responsible for this. But Kyiv is special. If we protect Kyiv, we will protect the state. This is the heart of our country."

Hundreds of military vehicles were previously seen in a convoy northeast of Ivankiv
Hundreds of military vehicles were previously seen in a convoy northeast of Ivankiv. Picture: Getty/Maxar Technologies

More ground force deployments and helicopter units were earlier seen in Belarus in satellite imagery too - less than 20 miles north of its border with Ukraine.

However, despite the growing numbers, the UK's Ministry of Defence said in its latest update on military intelligence that Russia's advance on Kyiv had made little progress in the past 24 hours, which is likely to be due to logistical difficulties.

It comes after initial peace talks between both delegations resulted in no agreement on Monday.

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