New satellite images have shown that the Ukrainian defence of Kyiv has forced a massive Russian military U-turn.
During their six-week-long invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces have pushed towards the capital of Kyiv but new photos by Maxar Technology show Vladimir Putin's soldiers have shifted towards a new target.
The convoy is headed toward eastern Ukraine, which Russian forces captured last week and are using as a staging ground for an attack on Sloviansk – a city that is critical in Russia's effort to capture the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
The convoy stretches more than 12km in length.
The US Department of Defence has said the Donbas region would likely become the area of a "knife fight".
"The Russians and the Ukrainians have been focused on the Donbas for eight years, and [it's been] for eight years that the Ukrainians have been able to stymie Russia's larger objectives in the Donbas," a Defence official said.
"But the fighting has been bloody, it's been stiff. And it's been pretty consistent for years."
Russia invaded the area in 2014, and Ukrainian and Russian forces have been confronting each other there ever since.
US officials also confirmed the units that were attacking Kyiv have withdrawn.
"Some of the units that attacked Kyiv were severely mauled, with many battalion tactical groups experiencing a combined personnel and equipment reduction of 30 per cent and others hurt even more," it said in a statement.
"We've seen indications of some units that are literally … eradicated – there's just nothing left at the BTG except a handful of troops and maybe a small number of vehicles."
It comes as Ukraine officials say it has located more than 1200 bodies in the Kyiv region.
Heavy bombardments hammered Ukraine through the weekend, adding to mounting casualties six weeks into Russia's invasion of its neighbour.
Shelling claimed two lives in northeast Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, on Sunday morning, regional governor Oleg Sinegoubov said, the day after 10 civilians, including a child, died in a bombing southeast of the city, according to authorities.
In Dnipro, a large industrial city of a million inhabitants, a rain of Russian missiles nearly destroyed the local airport, causing an uncertain number of casualties, local authorities said. It had already been struck on March 15.