A Russian military convoy threatening Kyiv is far bigger than initially thought, with satellite images from Monday showing it occupying much of a 40-mile (64-kilometer) stretch of road north of the Ukrainian capital.
Explosions and gunfire were heard in embattled cities in eastern Ukraine as Russia’s invasion met unexpectedly stiff resistance.
The Russian military assault on Ukraine was in its fifth day Monday.
A Ukrainian delegation held talks with Russian officials at the border with Belarus, though they ended with no agreements except to keep talking. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone with Putin, urging him to halt the offensive.
Meanwhile, Western sanctions triggered by the invasion sent the Russian ruble plummeting, leading ordinary Russians to line up at banks and ATMs. And Russian teams were suspended from all international soccer matches, including qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, pushing the country toward sports pariah status.
As talks between Ukrainian and Russian delegations wrapped up near the Belarusian border, several blasts could be heard in Kyiv itself.
Russian troops have been advancing slowly on the capital city of nearly 3 million people. On Monday, a military convoy consisting of hundreds of armored vehicles, tanks, artillery and support vehicles was no more than 17 miles (25 kilometers) from the city center, according to satellite imagery from the Maxar company.
It was believed earlier Monday to be 17 miles (25 kilometers) long, but additional satellite imagery showed it stretching for 40 miles. Maxar said the newer images cover a wider area and were less obscured by clouds. Several homes and other buildings were seen burning near roads where the convoy is traveling.