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Russian Forces Appear to Shift to Siege Warfare in Ukraine- U.S. Official

Images on social media showed some Russian military vehicles in Ukraine, including battle tanks, that had apparently been abandoned after running out of fuel, raising questions about logistical failures.
Members of Ukrainian forces looks on from a public transport bus in downtown Kyiv, on Feb. 27. Photo: Aris Messinis / AFP via Getty Images
Members of Ukrainian forces looks on from a public transport bus in downtown Kyiv, on Feb. 27. Photo: Aris Messinis / AFP via Getty Images

Russia, frustrated by early battlefield setbacks in Ukraine, could be shifting its strategy to siege warfare just as President Vladimir Putin raises the risk of a catastrophic miscalculation by putting nuclear forces on heightened alert, a senior U.S. defense official said on Sunday.

Putin gave the order to his nuclear forces as Washington assesses that Russian troops have made limited progress in their four-day-old invasion due to stiff Ukrainian resistance and planning failures that have left some units without fuel or other supplies, U.S. officials said.

As missiles rained down on Ukrainian cities, hundreds of thousands of civilians, mainly women and children, were fleeing the Russian assault into neighboring countries.

The United States assesses that Russia has fired more than 350 missiles at Ukrainian targets so far, some hitting civilian infrastructure, the senior U.S. defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Still, it had so far mainly focused on military targets.

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