Speculation that massive column of Russian vehicles and troops may be regrouping for assault on capital

While a US defence official suggested it appeared to have “stalled”, there was also speculation that an estimated 15,000 troops attached to it may be regrouping, and potentially waiting for logistical supplies before an assault on Kyiv.

Efforts to ascertain the status of the convoy and the threat it poses have been set back by recent cloud cover over Ukraine that has prevented Maxar Technologies – which issued the first satellite images of the convoy – from releasing new pictures.

“Heavy cloud cover has blanketed Ukraine,” said Maxar, “and [it has] prevented us from providing new satellite imagery-based updates of the current activity.”

While information about Russian troop movements in other parts of Ukraine where there has been fighting has been well documented on social media, the convoy outside Kyiv has existed in what amounts to an information black hole, suggesting that Russia forces may closely control the territory around it.

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