The lengthy Russian military convoy that has been documented as on the path to the Ukrainian capital city, Kiev, has been the target of strikes by Ukrainian military personnel, according to a new Military Times report going off remarks from Ukrainian Brig. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, who leads his country’s defense intelligence agency. As Budanov explained it, “We are striking the enemy’s columns… We burn many columns of the enemy… My intelligence officers and agents are directing and calling the strikes.” That Russian military convoy approaching Kyiv has been observed as essentially stalled as of early on Thursday, although that finding could swiftly become outdated. Journalist Natasha Bertrand shared early Thursday that a top U.S. official had said that U.S. leaders “still assess that the convoy that everybody’s been focused on is stalled,” adding that U.S. personnel “have no reason to doubt Ukrainian claims that they have contributed to it being stalled by attacking it.”
NEW: U.S. believes Ukrainian troops are targeting Russia's stalled 40-mile convoy of tanks and artillery that is "stalled" miles from Kyiv city center: senior U.S. defense official.
— Jack Detsch (@JackDetsch) March 2, 2022
Per Military Times, “[A] senior defense official said the Pentagon has indications Ukraine forces are targeting the convoy in an attempt to stymie what officials believe is Russia’s ultimate goal: to occupy Kyiv and install a puppet government.” A recent report from NBC backed up parts of this assessment; that article, which was published on Thursday, stated that “[officials] expect Russia to topple the Ukrainian government and they predict a civil and armed resistance will take hold.” The officials who came to this conclusion do not appear to have been publicly identified. As for the strikes on the convoy approaching Kyiv, the senior U.S. official cited by Military Times said that American officials have “seen indications that at times and at certain places, the convoys may have been resisted by Ukrainian forces and I think I have to leave it at that… But we’ve seen indications that we are in no position to refute [Ukrainian claims they have hit the convoy].”
“We still assess that the convoy that everybody’s been focused on is stalled,” a senior U.S. defense official tells reporters this a.m. “We have no reason to doubt Ukrainian claims that they have contributed to it being stalled by attacking it.”
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) March 3, 2022
A Western intelligence official speaking to NBC, whose remarks were included in that new report, added that “the concern we have is that [Russian invaders] seem to be now bringing in heavier forces, with more armor, more long-range artillery, heavier weapons, that are not just more destructive in their nature, but frankly, are also less precise.” Such weapons could leave even more expansive wakes of destruction. The high-profile Ukrainian city of Kherson has fallen into the control of Russian forces amid the conflict, which has claimed the lives of thousands of Ukrainian civilians and left hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing the country as refugees. Although Russia admitted to hundreds of casualties among members of its military — substantially fewer than the thousands that Ukraine claims to have inflicted, a claim with tentative support from Western officials, Putin alleged that the invasion “is going according to plan, in strict accordance with the schedule. All tasks are being successfully being carried out,” according to journalist Kaitlan Collins, reporting on Thursday.
Putin says, “The special military operation in Ukraine” — or, as everyone else calls it, the invasion — “is going according to plan, in strict accordance with the schedule. All tasks are being successfully being carried out." The US still believes that military convoy is stalled.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) March 3, 2022