It’s Not Clear If Russia’s Convoy Exists Anymore, Pentagon Says

( Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, satellite imagery revealed a 40-mile-long convoy of Russian troops and armored vehicles making its way toward Kyiv.

The Colorado-based space technology company, Maxar Technologies confirmed the convoy consisted of tanks, towed artillery, and other logistical vehicles. Additional satellite images released by Maxar on March 11 showed the convoy had largely dispersed into surrounding towns outside of Kyiv as it repositioned into firing positions.

After it stalled due to food and fuel shortage, the convoy made limited moves toward Kyiv, a senior defense official confirmed on March 10.

Last Thursday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters he doesn’t even know if the convoy exists anymore, adding “They never really accomplished their mission.”

Russian forces have faced unexpected resistance around Kyiv, preventing them from succeeding in taking the capital.

On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Ukraine’s prosecutor-general revealed that the bodies of 410 civilians had been removed from towns surrounding Kyiv after Ukraine forces recently retook the areas from Russian troops.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said among the dead was the mayor of Motyzhyn who was murdered while held captive by Russian forces. Vereshchuk said the Russians are holding 11 mayors and community heads captive across Ukraine.

In a video address on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced the targeted killing of civilians in Russian-occupied towns calling it a “genocide.” Zelensky described the Russian troops as “freaks who do not know how to do otherwise.” He warned that as Ukrainian troops force the Russians out, more atrocities may be revealed.

On Monday, the UK condemned Russia’s “barbaric” killing of civilians, however, it stopped short of calling the actions a “genocide.”

Max Blain, the spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the bodies found in the recaptured areas revealed Russia’s “despicable attacks against innocent civilians.” Blain said the discovery is more evidence that Vladimir Putin’s army is committing “what appear to be war crimes in Ukraine.”

The UK is urging Western allies to enforce stricter sanctions to “ratchet up” pressure on Russia.

Russia’s Defense Ministry is denying the claims that civilians have been targeted in the suburbs surrounding Kyiv.