There are new signs that Russia may be changing its strategywho continues to put up fierce resistance on the battlefield.
A senior US defense official says after weeks of failing to capture Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital and suffering heavy casualties, Russian forces are shifting their ground offensive to the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, one of their strongholds.
Outside the gates of Kiev, the military miscalculations of Russian President Vladimir Putin are exposed. Russian tanks are now burnt-out wrecks of twisted metal — while Ukrainian forces continue to strike back, reports Imtiaz Tyab for CBS Saturday Morning.
A new phase of the Kremlin’s so-called “military special operation” in Ukraine was announced in Moscow.
Pentagon officials say they are seeing signs Russia is importing more troops from a Russian-held region in nearby Georgia. And they say the Russian military is no longer advancing towards Kyiv.
CBS News’ Nancy Cordes asked Pentagon press secretary John Kirby why they were doing this.
“Well, it’s hard to know,” Kirby said. “It could be a negotiation tactic; maybe he wants to gain more ground where he’s been fighting for eight years, uh, so he can gain leverage at the negotiating table. We are not sure.”
According to NATO estimates, between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since the fighting began. And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has issued another appeal urging Russia to negotiate “reasonably, urgently and fairly” to end the war that has already wreaked so many horrors, especially on children.
Just a month after the Russian invasion, more than half of all children across Ukraine – 4.3 million of them – had to leave their homes. There were so many agonizing goodbyes at train stations across the country as families were torn apart.
Despite the trauma, children are still children, said UNICEF’s James Elder, who warned the effects of the conflict could last for years.
“The longer this goes on, the more likely you are to get long-term problems, which we know are long-term problems, mental health problems, they’re developmental problems,” he said.
Many IDPs have found refuge in schools. At one in Lviv we met 13-year-old Anastasia, who lives there with her father and little brother.
“I come from Melitopol, where there were many Russian soldiers,” she said. “It took us two and a half days to get here by train.”
As Russia continues to bomb Ukraine, allegations of war crimes against Russia mount. Russia is now believed to have attacked nearly three dozen medical facilities, including hospitals and ambulances.
According to the United Nations, 78 Ukrainian children have been killed and 105 injured since the war began. But given that so many areas are still inaccessible, those numbers are likely much higher.