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February 28, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

New satellite images show over 40-mile-long Russian military convoy

What we covered

  • New satellite images show a Russian military convoy that has reached the outskirts of Kyiv is more than 40 miles long.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of war crimes for bombing the city of Kharkiv.
  • Zelensky said he is analyzing the results of Monday’s talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations.
  • More than 500,000 refugees have fled Ukraine during Russia’s ongoing invasion, the UN said Monday. 
  • Having connection issues? Bookmark CNN’s lite site for fast connectivity. You can read updates at CNN Español here, and scroll through photos on the ground here.

Our live coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has moved here.

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Top US general meets virtually with NATO military leaders

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley took part in a virtual meeting of NATO’s Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence on Monday amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a readout from Joint Staff spokesperson Col. Dave Butler said. 

The leaders discussed “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is undermining global security,” the readout said. “The United States’ commitment to defending NATO territory is ironclad and the United States will continue to bolster our posture to better defend our NATO Allies.”

The US has sent additional troops and military assets to NATO countries in the past few weeks as the situation in Ukraine has worsened. 

The Secretary of Defense ordered the deployment of 7,000 US service members to Europe on Feb. 25, a senior defense official told reporters. 

Analysis: All roads lead to Belarus — the origin of the 40+ mile long Russian convoy near Kyiv

Satellite images show a Russian military convoy that has reached the outskirts of Kyiv is more than 40 miles long.

Dramatic satellite images released by Maxar Technologies on Monday evening showed a massive 40+ mile long convoy of Russian military vehicles snaking along roadways northwest of Kyiv. 

It’s easy to trace where those hundreds of tanks, towed artillery, armored and logistical vehicles came from. Just follow the roads.

In Ukraine, northwest of Kyiv, all roads lead to Belarus. The roadway and bridge at Chernobyl — the town, not the failed nuclear reactor — ends in Belarus. Every other major road northwest of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, ends in Belarus, which borders northern Ukraine.

Russian buildup of troops: For weeks prior to its invasion of Ukraine, Russia amassed its forces in Belarus.

Hundreds of Russian military vehicles, aircraft and helicopters were moved to the former Soviet state in order to participate in what the two allies described as joint exercises. But after the maneuvers ended, the Russian forces didn’t go home.

In fact, additional satellite imagery from Maxar showed that Russia continued to increase the amount of military vehicles, air power and weaponry in Belarus. From the city of Brest in the country’s east, to Gomel in the west, Russian forces kept popping up at air bases, in towns and in even in fields on satellite images and social media.

Pontoon bridge: Satellite images even showed that Russia constructed a pontoon bridge across the Pripyat River in the greater Chernobyl exclusion zone, which spans Ukraine and Belarus. The day the invasion into Ukraine began, additional satellite images from Capella Space showed Russia began moving dozens of military vehicles across that bridge.

Military power: The sheer length of the convoy is massive and speaks to the amount of the military power the Russians have amassed to try and take Kyiv.

It also speaks to Belarus’ activity in supporting and carrying the invasion — and responsibility for it.

That military power could not have been amassed by the Russians without the permission, and assistance, of Belarus.

Australia to send missiles to Ukraine as part of $50 million support package

Australia will send missiles as part of a $50 million package of lethal and non-lethal aid to help Ukraine repel Russian forces, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Morrison told a news conference Tuesday that anti-armor missiles are proving extraordinarily effective for Ukrainian forces.

“We are answering the call from President (Volodymyr) Zelensky: he said we need ammo, not a ride and that’s exactly what we’re doing… we’ll provide 50 million US dollars to support Ukraine, lethal and non-lethal support… we’re talking missiles, we’re talking ammunition,” Morrison said.

A further $25 million will go toward humanitarian support and helping international organizations meet the needs of people fleeing violence inside Ukraine, he said.

Tuesday’s announcement follows a raft of measures by the Australian government to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, including placing sanctions on Russian individuals.